Up-and-coming Dutch racer Max Verstappen has confirmed that he will be competing in the FIA European F3 Championship this year with van Amersfoort.
Verstappen, the son of former-Formula One driver Jos, moves straight to Formula 3 in what will be his first full season of car racing.
The 16-year-old competed in the off-season Florida Winter Series through January and February, eventually scoring two wins from twelve races. Verstappen has also tested Formula Renault 2.0 machinery, but running briefly in an Formula 3 car last November.
There is no doubt the coming season will represent an astonishing learning curve for the teenager; however Verstappen feels this move is the right one. “I feel really at home in a F3 car. The cars have a lot of downforce and grip. This means you can carry a lot of speed through the corners and as a driver you can really make a difference.”
He added, “There is definitely an advantage to being part of a Dutch team during my first full single seater season. Furthermore, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season with Van Amersfoort Racing, especially as we are competing on all those iconic European racing tracks!”
While understandably excited by the year ahead Max’s father, Jos, knows full well that it will not be the easiest of promotions. “The F3 European Championship is a very competitive category with a competitive car and we want to do the best we can.”
However the elder Verstappen knows this is also where Max will make and – hopefully – learn from inevitable errors that come with inexperience. “It will be a year in which Max must learn from the small mistakes he’ll inevitably make as a rookie. Regardless, this is the perfect step for Max venturing into single seater racing, as Van Amersfoort Racing is a fantastic and professional team.”
Frits van Amersfoort, team principal with the Dutch team, is delighted to have Verstappen on board, partnering the already signed Gustavo Menezes. “For a racing team it is always a joy to work together with an extraordinary talent. Max has claimed plenty of titles and trophies which make it a good challenge for us as a team, especially when we are participating in a top championship that is European F3. To be among the front runners will demand the most of us but we’ll give it all we got. Furthermore, 2014 will see a special rookie class which I think is the perfect goal for Max.”
Irrespective of his obvious talent, this will be a tough challenge for Verstappen, but it will be intriguing to follow his progress.