Marko compares Verstappen to Senna

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has likened new Toro Rosso signing Max Verstappen, who will become the youngest driver in F1 history when he joins the grid aged 17 next year, to the late Ayrton Senna.

Verstappen will make the step up to the top echelon after just one single-seater campaign in the European Formula 3 Championship, replacing Jean-Éric Vergne to partner Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull’s effective junior team.

The Dutch youngster recently completed the required mileage to be granted a Super Licence and will make his F1 practice debut at the Japanese Grand Prix if the sport’s governing body, the FIA, approves it in time.

Such is Marko’s faith in Verstappen’s abilities, he has compared him to triple F1 World Champion Senna.

“Most likely Ayrton Senna,” Marko told the official F1 website, when asked if Verstappen can be compared.

“And in such a case you must not look at his age. He has been talking with people who are experts when it comes to the development of youngsters and they all say that [in terms of] his mind he is more like 22 than 16.

“Regarding his skills behind the wheel, he has been racing since he was four years old – professionally.”

See more at