19/08/2014 05:13 BST | Updated 20/08/2014 11:59 BST

Max Versteppen, 16, To Become Youngest Formula 1 Driver

Darrell Ingham via Getty Images
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and driver of the #30 Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F314 Volkswagen celebrates his second place at the FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at the Silverstone Circuit on April 20, 2014 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

Sixteen-year-old Max Verstappen is set to become the youngest Formula One driver in history after joining Toro Rosso for the 2015 season.

The son of former F1 driver Jos turns 17 in September and currently competes in Formula Three; he will replace Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne

And Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has backed the teenage Dutchman to show the "mental strength" to compete.

Verstappen's father Jos (right) drove for Benetton

"We believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully," Tost told the team's website. "This year he has already demonstrated how well he can cope under difficult conditions."

"It will now be up to us to provide Max with a competitive car, which will enable him to have the best possible start to his Formula 1 career."

  • Youngest F1 driver: Jaime Alguersuari. Made debut in 2009, again with Toro Rosso, when aged 19 and 125 days
  • Youngest F1 race winner: Sebastian Vettel, 21 years, 73 days, Italian GP 2008. he was also driving a Toro Rosso
  • Youngest driver to score points in an F1 race: Danil Kvyat, 19 years, 324 days, at this year's Australian GP (his F1 debut)
  • Youngest F1 world champion: Sebastian Vettel, 23 years, 134 days, 2010

Verstappen said: "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 debut in 2015 with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true.

"We've all worked tremendously hard to reach Formula 1 and I will give my absolute best to be successful in the pinnacle of motorsport. With the return of the Verstappen name to Formula 1, I hope we can relive old memories and I'm hoping to see many fans at all the Grand Prix circuits."

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