17-year-old Verstappen to be the youngest ever F1 driver
Dutch driver Max Verstappen answers to media during a news conference at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
Published Friday, August 22, 2014 1:18PM EDT
SPA, Belgium -- Max Verstappen will find himself in a unique position next year: fitting his school exams around his debut as the youngest ever Formula One driver.
When the 2015 F1 championship starts in Australia in March, Verstappen will be only 17. It will also be his final year of school, as he shares the cockpit with the classroom.
The Dutch teen, who competes in this year's European Formula Three title, has been signed by Toro Rosso -- Red Bull's feeder club -- in a move that divides F1 opinion.
Several drivers, including Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Adrian Sutil, have questioned whether Verstappen is old enough to compete.
But the fresh-faced Verstappen says "age is just a number and it's on the track where you have to show."