Max Verstappen has wowed the Formula 1 world in his first season with Scuderia Toro Rosso, posting two top fives (including a recent fourth place at the US GP) and consistently outdoing teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. His impressive race craft hasn’t gone unnoticed by the series’ top teams, either, with German motoring publication Speedweek reporting the 18-year old is poised to sign on with Scuderia Ferrari in 2017.
Speedweek acknowledged its report is the result of rumors heard in the paddock in Mexico ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, however despite Ferrari’s track record of hiring on older, more experienced drivers, it’s possible they have some merit. Toro Rosso is expected to switch to Ferrari power units for 2016, which would align Verstappen with Ferrari, and the Dutchman’s contract at Toro Rosso is also expected to expire at the end of next season.
In Sochi ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, Verstappen said he’s currently happy with the opportunities Toro Rosso have given him, so he’s not searching for a new team to drive with.
“I am happy with Red Bull. It is only because of this company that I am now in Formula 1, so I see no reason to look around for another employer,” he said.
Verstappen’s dad Jos, also of Formula 1 fame, recently mentioned in an interview with German sports network Globo that his son may seek a team with a faster car once his Toro Rosso contract expires at the end of next season.
“I think Max will stay one more year with this team, to broaden his experience, only after that will he be able to start thinking about the change, in order to get a better car from 2017.”