Max Verstappen could go straight into European Formula 3 for 2014

World karting champion Max Verstappen may graduate straight into Formula 3 for his first full season of car racing in 2014

Max Verstappen could go straight into European Formula 3 for 2014

The Dutch teenager made his single-seater race debut in Ferrari's Florida Winter Series at Sebring this week.

Verstappen, son of ex-Benetton and Arrows Formula 1 driver Jos, topped second qualifying and scored a best finish of fourth from the first three races of the new four-event series, run by the Ferrari Driver Academy.

He defeated European Formula 3 champion Raffaele Marciello to finish fourth in race one on Sunday, behind fellow FIA F3 racer Dennis van de Laar, Formula Renault ALPS champion Antonio Fuoco, and another F3 driver, Nicholas Latifi.

Verstappen crashed out of the reversed grid second race, in which Colombian racer Tatiana Calderon took victory, and finished eighth in race three (won by Fuoco), after receiving a drive-through penalty for a jumped start.

He tested Formula Renault and F3 machinery in Spain at the end of last year and his father said the 16-year-old may jump straight into F3 for the rest of 2014.

"Max is looking at European Formula Renault 2.0, but also European F3," Jos told AUTOSPORT.

"Max's driving style is very suited to F3. These cars have a lot of front end, which he likes a lot, and he was immediately very fast when he tested.

"Max had never driven an F3 car, but after six or seven laps he was really there [on pace]. It was not hard for him and he really liked the downforce.

"We will speak to Luca [Baldisserri, FDA boss] and Rene Rosin [team manager at Prema Powerteam] because we have a decision to make soon.

"It is better to concentrate on one series and Max needs to learn, but I'm impressed with what he has done so far. The speed is there and this is the main thing."

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Series FIA F3
Author Ben Anderson
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