Max Verstappen says he chose to join Red Bull's junior programme over Mercedes because the world champions were focused on instant success.

In August Verstappen was named as a Toro Rosso driver for 2015 having signed with the Red Bull young driver programme, with him set to become the youngest driver ever to race in F1. Speaking exclusively to Crash.net, Verstappen explained that the F1 seat hadn't been the crucial aspect in Red Bull's offer and said talks with Mercedes showed its primary focus to be on its current dominance rather than developing young drivers.

"Well we had some conversations with Mercedes - with Toto [Wolff] and Niki [Lauda] - and it was really good, some friendly conversations but nothing serious," Verstappen said. "We were just talking about what was possible but in the end we were already talking to Red Bull since 2010 when I was still in go-karts.

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"And of course in the end they offered me an F1 driver so that came along very interestingly. But in the end that didn't really make the decision, it was just the feeling between them where you had to go. Mercedes is really focusing on winning in F1 at the moment and Red Bull they have a junior programme."

And Verstappen said the F1 career of his dad - Jos - had shown him that it is better to start at a team further down the grid to gain his early race experience.

Having enjoyed a season fighting for F3 victories, Verstappen said: "Now it will be a different focus of course!

"But I always wanted to be here and I think it's really good to start in a team like this, not like directly in a top team because it can kill you. Like if you look to my dad, it can change quickly so I think it's a good step to start here."