The youngest ever driver to take part in a Grand Prix Formula 1 race was finally allowed to take his driving test last week. Max Verstappen drove in the Australian Grand Prix at just 166 days past his 17th birthday, but under laws in his country of residence was not allowed to take his driving test until his 18th birthday.
Last Wednesday, Mr Verstappen celebrated the milestone birthday by acing the test at the very first attempt. Despite a blossoming Formula 1 career in which he races at speeds of 200mph, he confessed to feeling somewhat nervous before getting behind the wheel.
He explained he had only begun lessons the week beforehand, but the test went nicely and he did not make any major mistakes. As Verstappen is now over 18 he can celebrate passing his test, or winning a Formula 1 race, with the obligatory magnum of champagne.
Max Verstappen is the son of former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen. Despite being born in Belgium and still travelling under a Belgian passport, Max Verstappen chose to race using a licence issued in the Netherlands, the country where his father was born.
Both Verstappen senior and junior raced for Italy’s Toro Rosso. Since his debut Formula 1 appearance in Australia in March, Max has competed in 14 Grands Prix and achieved a highest finish line position of 12th.
When he took part in his first Grand Prix, he beat the previous record for the youngest Formula 1 entrant by two years. Jaime Alguersuari was 19 years and 125 days when he competed in the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.