5-speed listening (Level 3)

16-year-old joins F1 team as race driver



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In most countries around the world, 16-year-olds have to wait for another two years to be able to drive a car. Not so for 16-year-old Max Verstappen. He has just been signed up to drive for a Formula 1 racing team. He will become the youngest ever F1 driver when he races for the Toro Rosso team next year. He will be 17 when he takes part in his first Grand Prix, alongside drivers like Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. The current record for the youngest F1 driver is 19 years and 125 days. Verstappen will make his debut at the Australian Grand Prix. He told reporters: "Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true."

The Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost was very enthusiastic about Max signing for his team. He said: "We are happy to welcome Max into the Toro Rosso family….We consider Max to be 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." He added: "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 1 career." Max is the son of the former-F1 driver Jos Verstappen. He said he owed a lot of his success to his father, saying: "First of all a big thanks to my father, who has always been by my side, day and night, year after year."

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