Toro Rosso plans on giving Max Verstappen track time in the current car during FP1 sessions later this season.
Team principal Franz Tost confirmed in Belgium that Verstappen will be given the opportunity to drive on Fridays in a similar way Daniil Kvyat was given FP1 runs in 2013. Verstappen himself feels that he is ready to race in F1 and is not expecting the difference between his F3 car and the Toro Rosso to be as big as his step up from karting was this year.
“I've always made big steps in my life,” Verstappen said. “The biggest step was from karting to F3 because it's not easy in F3 with all those experienced drivers. Once you are in a racing car ... a racing car is a racing car. So I think I'm ready.
“Once you have a feeling with a racing car, even if it is more powerful and a bit wider, I don't think that will change that much.”
With Red Bull signing Verstappen to its young driver programme amid interest from a number of other teams, Verstappen admitted it was a condition of joining that he got a race seat but believes he wouldn't be driving if the team didn't think he was ready.
“If you don't have the talent I think you won't get here. That has to be there. For me, the age doesn't matter really.”
And Verstappen attributed much of his recent success to his father Jos – who used to drive for Benetton and Tyrrell among others – who he says has been instrumental in his progress.
“A lot of that has also come from my dad because he was always pushing me in the right direction. I think basically my dad helped me a lot with that and also we made big steps all the time even from karting to F3. But I adapted quickly, so I don't see a problem from F3 to F1.”