Max Verstappen insists that he is in no rush to join one of F1's frontrunners, despite admitting that that he has a taste for the podium.
The Dutch teenager has enjoyed a sensational start to his top flight career, jumping straight into the Toro Rosso line-up after one year of F3, and has already racked up a brace of fourth-place finishes – in Budapest and Austin – that have him yearning for a spot amongst the silverware. However, he maintains that, with some growing still to do as a grand prix driver, he could not be in a better place than Faenza.
“I'm never in a hurry [to join a top team],” he said, having been linked with both Ferrari and Red Bull since graduating to F1, “Of course, if you have two fourth places, you are very close to the podium and you want to be on it, but I still have a lot of things to learn and I am pretty happy where I am right now. Hopefully, in a couple of years I can fight for victories for sure.
“Maybe it's something Italian, because I enjoyed it a lot in karting and it's a good atmosphere here as well! It's like a big family and I think that, when a driver feels well in a team, the performance goes better, so I'm definitely enjoying it. The team is still very young, but it's ambitious and I think already, compared to last year, the car is a big step forward.”
With just one year of single-seater racing under his belt before Franz Tost accepted him into the Toro Rosso fold, Verstappen presented as an extremely raw recruit, but he believes that the rough edges are being knocked off with every outing.
“I think I have improved in every area,” he claimed, “After only one season in the lower categories and then making the jump to F1, I think the raw speed is there, but you need to develop in all the other areas. I think I've coped with that pretty well, so I am pretty happy with how the whole season has gone in general.
“Qualifying, especially, is going well now but, with the help of the team, everything
is going much better . But I expected it to be like that – I am still very young, so I have a lot of things to learn.”