Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso has replaced Jean-Eric Vergne with young Dutch driver Max Verstappen for 2015 F1 season.Reuters

Toro Rosso continued their tradition of signing young drivers by roping-in Dutchman Max Verstappen, who will make his debut at the age of 17, making him the youngest ever F1 driver, next season.

Verstappen, son of former F1 driver Jos, will partner Russian Dani Kvyat in the 2015 Formula 1 season and will replace Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, who is in his third season with the Italian outfit.

The Dutchman, who will join Toro Rosso later this year, is currently competing in the European F3 Championship and is in title contention.

"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," Verstappen said. "Ever since I was seven years old, Formula One has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true."

"There are several people that have helped me throughout the years and still support me to this day and I want to sincerely thank them. First of all, a big thanks to my father Jos, who has always been by my side, day and night, year after year.

"Of course I'm very thankful for all my sponsors who've believed in my talent and supported me in these financially difficult times. I hope that I can maintain a wonderful collaboration with them as I embark on this exciting new phase in my career."

Till now, Frenchman Jaime Alguersuari was the youngest F1 driver, when he made his debut with Toro Rosso at 19 years and 125 days.

He took over the driving duties for the Red Bull sister team in 2009 from Sebastien Bourdais, who was replaced midway into the season.

Verstappen has recently graduated from karting championship and his string of impressive performances in the junior championship's debut season helped him earn a place in Red Bull's junior driver development programme.

Toro Rosso serves as a driver development team for Red Bull Racing, as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo have previously raced for the Faenza-based side.

Team principal of Toro Rosso, Franz Tost said that they are impressed with Verstappen's recent performances and is confident that he will continue to showcase his skill in his debut season in F1 as well.

"We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family," Tost said. "It's great to see how the Red Bull Junior Programme 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.

"Bearing in mind that Scuderia Toro Rosso was created with the aim of bringing young talent from the Red Bull Junior Team into Formula One and to educate them, 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 One career."

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