Max Verstappen says his promotion to the Red Bull Racing team just four rounds in his second Formula 1 campaign is an 'amazing opportunity' he is eager to grasp.
The 18 year-old Red Bull prodigy made his F1 debut in 2015 with Toro Rosso, in doing so becoming the youngest driver to both start and score in a grand prix, before going on to produce a number of stand-out performances.
Always touted for a move into Red Bull Racing for 2017, Verstappen has instead been offered up the chance to join the 'primary' team earlier than anticipated in place of Daniil Kvyat – who will return to Toro Rosso – and alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
Thanking the Red Bull fold for the promotion, Verstappen says he cannot wait to make his debut in the RB12 at the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.
“The next step in my relatively short career so far, is an amazing opportunity,” he told his personal website. “I really want to thank Red Bull Racing and Dr. Helmut Marko for the confidence they have in me. I'll have the chance to learn a lot from the top team that is Red Bull Racing. I'm also looking forward to work with an experienced and proven team mate like Daniel Ricciardo.”
“I can't thank all the people at Scuderia Toro Rosso enough for all their hard work. Everyone back at the factory in Faenza, and Franz Tost in particular, have made an amazing contribution to get me this far in my career. We've had an amazing time together.”
“Together with Red Bull Racing we'll do everything to prepare me as best as possible for my first laps in the RB12 Tag Heuer, next week in Barcelona. I cannot wait for that special moment to happen.”
Verstappen finished 11th overall in his maiden F1 season, scoring a best finish of fourth in the Hungarian Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix.