The unborn Dutchman is the latest signing for the Red Bull Junior Driver programme.
There’s a new Verstappen in Formula 1, with Max Verstappen’s (pictured) father Jos announcing his unborn son will drive for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2019.
“My wife and I and Dr Helmut Marko are very happy to announce that we are expecting a baby!” Verstappen senior wrote on Instagram, posting a photo of him and his partner Sandy Sijtsma.
“Fortunately his due date coincides with FP1 in Australia” wrote the Dutchman.
Red Bull Racing Consultant Dr Helmut Marko confirmed the appointment.
“He’s not quite ready for a Red Bull seat” remarked Dr Marko, “but the Verstappen name is synonymous with Formula 1 and we need to look to the future”
The couple haven’t decided on a name, meaning the unborn baby will be entered into the 2019 championship as Firstname Lastname.
Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost concedes the appointment is a risk.
“He’s not yet a proven racer, he lacks experience in a Formula 1 car and he’s still in a womb” said the Austrian. “But he can’t do any worse than Hartley”
Team Manager Graham Watson confirmed the rising star had already toured the factory.
“We showed him the factory, the technical hub, the Research and Development Department and the Aero Performance, Vehicle Dynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics centres. He saw none of it, he’s in a womb.”
“But he has been for a seat fitting” confirmed Watson, “Now we just need to fit a baby seat to that seat”
The task is all the more challenging for the unborn Verstappen, given pediatric experts recommend all babies sit facing backwards in a car until age 2.
“He’ll have to learn to drive with his back to the controls” said Tost, “but that’s what the simulator is for”
With Mercedes and Ferrari accelerating their junior programs, Red Bull are looking to get the edge.
“We’re always looking to find the next generation, quite literally” said Dr Marko.
“There’s an embryo in Finland we’ve got our eye on for 2020”
The unborn baby is expected to start his career in a four wheeler.
“He’ll start in a pram” confirmed Tost. “He’s already spent time in the pram simulator, getting used to the machine”
The season starts in Australia in March.