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Max Verstappen makes F1 debut in Suzuka practice - Toro Rosso give young Dutch driver his first taste of Formula One

Published by Christine

Max Verstappen makes F1 debut in Suzuka practice
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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Just a couple of days after his 17th birthday, Max Verstappen made his Formula One debut, taking Jean-Éric Vergne’s Toro Rosso out for first practice in Japan. The Dutch driver completed 22 laps and finished 12th fastest, just less than half a second off Daniil Kvyat in the other STR car.

It didn’t all go to plan for Verstappen, however, as he had to stop out on track towards the end of the session due to a power unit problem. Max proved he’s well versed in all the technical jargon when he reported the problem back to the pit wall.

“I have a problem with the engine, it’s not pulling anymore. For me, it’s like I hear the turbo, it’s all the time like pshhh.”

He was happy with his lot though, saying afterwards: “I wasn’t even close to the limit. I was just driving safely without doing any crazy stuff, so for me the main thing today was just to try and make a lot of laps… But when I saw the times on the screens, I was happy.”