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Sergio Perez urges Max Verstappen to trust talent when in Formula 1

Sergio Perez believes new Toro Rosso Formula 1 recruit Max Verstappen must trust his talent and not worry about media perceptions of his youth

Verstappen's promotion to F1 after just one season in European Formula 3 attracted criticism in some quarters, as the 17-year-old will become the youngest ever driver to start a grand prix next season.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, described it "the worst thing ever for F1" and the FIA subsequently raised the minimum superlicence age to 18 from 2016.

Force India racer Perez reckons that Verstappen should ignore any controversy.

"Red Bull saw something special in him," said Perez.

"I've heard really good things about him, so it will be nice to see how such a nice kid deals with all the pressure.

"He is making history. The kid has to be very special because he is breaking the record big time.

"If you're good enough and Red Bull put the faith in you to go and race, why not? It's good for the sport and for the fans."

Perez cited previous examples of drivers leaping up the ladder to F1 at an early age as evidence that early promotion will not hold back Verstappen's progress.

"There's not a straightforward way to get into Formula 1. You have seen many drivers - Kimi [Raikkonen] for example, after one year not even in F3, in Formula Renault, he jumped straight into Formula 1.

"The media is something external, but when you drive the lessons of the strategies, the tyres, the differences in fuel loads across the weekends, it's something you don't experience in F3.

"There are a couple of things [to learn], but no matter what, if you're good enough you will deal with them."

Perez, who spent two seasons in British F3 and two years in GP2 before making his Formula 1 debut in 2011 aged 21, believes he did benefit by spending more time in junior formulas.

"At 17 I won in F3 but if I look back it was good for me that I did a year in bigger cars, like GP2," he said.

"I learned a lot there with the strategy, the pitstops, but at the same time I was never involved with a Formula 1 team. That helps you to understand Formula 1."

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