Max Verstappen has rated his performances over the first half of his rookie Formula 1 season as 'a seven or eight' out of ten and says he will only get better.

The young Dutch driver raised eyebrows last year when Toro Rosso confirmed he would become the youngest driver in F1 history at just 17, jumping straight from European Formula 3 into F1 after just a single season in car racing.

Verstappen has paid back the team's faith by becoming the top rookie in the drivers' standings and has broken a multitude of records along the way.

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Verstappen headed into the summer break by grabbing his best result of the year, fourth place at the Hungaroring, and notched up Toro Rosso's best finish in seven years. The Dutchman could have even challenged for a podium had he not been handed a drive-thru penalty for speeding behind the safety car in Hungary but left Budapest beaming.

"I think I've had a pretty good start maybe a seven or an eight [out of ten] but I would never give myself the full ten," Verstappen said. "I thought we had a really good chance in Hungary after one very disappointing weekend in Silverstone.

"I was incredibly happy, to finish P4 is an incredible result. It was quite tough, especially as my start was quite bad but then I kept focused, I didn't give up at all and I was hunting the people down in front of me.

"I couldn't believe it. I was so happy and even after the finish line I couldn't express my feelings because I was really overwhelmed."

Alongside the joy of P4 in Hungary, Verstappen has learnt some tough lessons during his opening ten F1 races, most notably his high-speed collision with Lotus' driver Romain Grosjean in Monaco.

Verstappen also picked out Silverstone as a frustrating race weekend but reflects on those experiences as part of his early education in his maiden F1 season.

"At the beginning of the season it was about improving in qualifying but since Austria it was going in the right direction and at Silverstone it was just a shame I had the problem in qualifying with the driveability," he explained. "I'm still learning a lot after having only had one year in car racing, so it can be a bit tricky but the team is helping me a lot.

"I see this year as a big learning curve for me and I'm getting better and better all the time, not just in qualifying but in the other areas too."