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SBD Global/August 21, 2014/Franchises

Red Bull F1 Defends Decision To Make Dutch Teen Youngest Driver In Sport's History

The Red Bull F1 team has defended its decision to "make Dutch teenager Max Verstappen Formula One's youngest ever driver and say the 16-year-old has already shown he is championship material," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Red Bull Motorsports Dir Helmut Marko said on Tuesday that "Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso were not taking a risk in putting him in their lineup next year." Marko: "He will be 17 when he has his first race, which is pretty young, but I don't think it is a risk." Toro Rosso's announcement is "sure to be a major talking point in the paddock at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps." While there have been "similarly precocious athletes in other sports, with Wayne Rooney making his senior England football debut at 17, they have rarely been in a position where a mistake carries potentially lethal consequences" (REUTERS, 8/19).
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