Max Verstappen took to the tarmac of the Red Bull Ring for a private test in an old Formula Renault 3.5 car on Tuesday.
The Red Bull Junior Team's latest young signing completed thirty laps of the Austrian track in wet conditions. This is the sixteen-year-old's first outing since joining the development scheme this past week.
Speaking after his run in a 2012 model, Verstappen expressed his delight as he took to the helm of the powerful junior racing challenger. The V6 engine can boast 480 horsepower and a Dallara-built chassis.
“I had a great time in the FR3.5 racer”, he said. “The goal was to put in as many laps as possible to get a feel for this type of car and get used to the higher speeds. It all went very well”, he continued.
Although heavy rain curtailed the Dutchman's private test, he was pleased with progress as he becomes the youngest member of the current Red Bull junior line-up.
“It wasn't really safe to drive anymore but I'm glad we were able to put in a fair amount of laps without problems or leaving the track”, he revealed shortly after his stint. “I really enjoyed my first test as a Red Bull junior, it's all very professional and everything is taken care of”.
The sixteen-year-old conceded that it was challenging to compare the Renault challenger and his current European F3 racer. Instead, he revealed his relief following the successful showing in Austria.
“As I only drove in the rain, it is hard to compare an FR3.5 with a Formula 3 car”, he admitted. “The FR3.5 is a bit bigger but I didn't struggle to adapt, I felt comfortable and confident to pick up the pace straight away”, he concluded.
The Red Bull Junior Team has long-standing links with the Formula 1 feeder series, gifting the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Vettel with drives in the Renault-backed event.
The Dutchman's recent test has done little to dispel rumours that he is to join the championships 2015 line-up. Currently, two Red Bull juniors are contesting the 2014 title – Pierre Gasly and championship leader, Carlos Sainz Jr represent the development scheme in the series.
Verstappen will next take to the track this weekend for the ninth round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Nurburgring. He currently sits second in the standings, ninety-four points adrift of Lotus junior, Esteban Ocon.