Max Verstappen will make history at the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, writes Byron Young in Suzuka.
The Dutchman will become the youngest F1 driver in history when he takes part in practice for the first time at Suzuka.
Just three days after his 17th birthday he will make his public debut at the wheel of a Toro Rosso.
Verstappen will become the youngest race driver in history if, as planned, he makes his debut next March in Melbourne.
He will be close to two years younger than current record holder Jaime Alguersuari who was 19 years and 125 days when he contested the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Verstappen, son of former Benetton ace Jos, was granted his super licence after 300km straight line testing for Toro Rosso in Italy last month.
“It is good preparation for next year, even if it’s not something I could have imagined a few months ago,” said Verstappen.
“To already be participating in a practice session is a dream come true.
“My dad has raced at Suzuka many times and he told me it’s not an easy track to start on. But for me it will be a very valuable experience.”