Toro Rosso has confirmed that Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne in FP1 at Suzuka as he continues his preparations for 2015.
The Dutchman, who only turns 17 tomorrow, has been granted a superlicence that allows him to run in FP1 sessions.
“It is good preparation for next year, even if it’s not something I could have imagined a few months ago,” said Verstappen. “To already be participating in a practice session is of course a dream come true. I have actually been to Suzuka before, to take part in a go‑kart race on the track that is located next to the main circuit’s back straight. My dad has raced at Suzuka many times and he told me it’s not an easy track to start on.
“For me it will be a very valuable experience, spending some time in the car and also getting used to working with everyone in the team, to prepare myself for next year. I am not going there to break any records, I just want to gain experience. I have spent one day driving this track on the simulator, which helps a bit, but it’s no substitute for driving it for real. My first impression is that it’s not an easy track and for example it looks hard to get the combination right in the first Esses. I have one and a half hours to drive there and I’m looking forward to doing a good job, for myself and for the team.”