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Teenager Max Verstappen to make Formula One history in 2015

updated 10:25 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Red Bull's teenage Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen (L) with his father Jos
Red Bull's teenage Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen (L) with his father Jos
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Red Bull's Max Verstappen to become youngest driver in Formula One history
  • The 16-year-old will drive for the Toro Rosso team in the 2015 season
  • Dutchman will be 17 when he replaces Jean-Eric Vergne
  • Verstappen's father Jos made 106 grand prix starts between 1994 and 2002

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(CNN) -- Red Bull's Max Verstappen will make Formula One history in 2015, as the youngest driver in the history of the sport.

The Toro Rosso team, owned by Red Bull, has confirmed the 16-year-old Dutchman will be one of its two drivers next season, replacing Jean-Eric Vergne.

That means when Verstappen takes to the grid for the first race of 2015 in Australia at the tender age of 17, he will break new ground in the elite division of motorsport.

"Ever since I was seven years old, Formula One has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true," he told Toro Rosso's official website.

Read: Ricciardo daring to dream

"First of all, I would like to thank Dr Helmut Marko and Red Bull for all their trust and giving me the chance to make my Formula One debut in 2015 with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

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"With the return of the Verstappen name to Formula One, I hope we can relive old memories and I'm hoping to see many fans at all the grand prix circuits."

Verstappen will be almost two years younger than the previous record holder -- Jaime Alguersuari who was 19 years and 125 days when he drove at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

He is currently in contention to win the FIA Formula 3 European Championship having become karting world champion last year.

Verstappen's father Jos has over 100 grand prix starts to his name between 1994 and 2002 and made his F1 debut alongside Michael Schumacher for Benetton.

He famously escaped a dramatic pit lane fire that engulfed his car during the 1994 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with only minor burns.

"We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family," said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost. "It's great to see how the Red Bull Junior Program continues to find talented young drivers and gives them the opportunity to come into Formula One.

"We consider Max to be as one of the most skilled young drivers of the new generation and we believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully."

Verstappen will drive alongside Daniil Kvyat in 2015 but Vergne's future is now in doubt. Daniel Ricciardo was chosen over the Frenchman to make the leap to the full Red Bull team this season.

Tost added of Vergne: "We hope ... that he will be able to end the second half of this season on a high note and thereby show that he still deserves another opportunity in Formula One."

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