Date: 30th September 2014 at 9:31am
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Max Verstappen turns 17-years-old today.

Many 17-year-olds receive a car as their birthday present in the UK, as it signals the start of their independence by being able to learn to drive.

For the majority this will be a rather beat-up second hand car, as the parents know full well that it may well suffer the odd prang as they learn how to park next to lamposts etc.

But for Max, son of former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen, the car he has been handed is a 2014 Toro Rosso Formula One car.

Verstappen will replace Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne for practice in Japan on Friday ahead of taking a full-time drive at Toro Rosso in 2015.

He will become the youngest Formula One driver in history to take part in a Grand Prix weekend.

Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari is currently the youngest driver to have started a Formula One Grand Prix aged 19 years and 125 days when he started in Hungary in 2009.

‘To be already participating in a practice session is a dream come true,’

‘It will be a very valuable experience, spending some time in the car and also getting used to working with everyone in the team, to prepare myself for next year.

‘I am not going there to break any records, I just want to gain experience.’
Verstappen told the BBC.