17-year-old Max Verstappen Is F1’s Youngest Racer

December 3, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. make history /meɪk ˈhɪs tə ri, ˈhɪs tri/ (idiom) – to do something notable that no one has done before
Example: The athlete makes history as he becomes the youngest gold medalist in the Olympics.

2. showcase /ˈʃoʊˌkeɪs/ (v.) – to show one’s talents or skills
Example: The game hopes to showcase young athletes in racing.

3. raise eyebrows /reɪz aɪˌbraʊs/ (idiom.) – to express feelings of shock and a mild disapproval
Example: The athlete’s extreme workout routine and diet raised a few eyebrows.

4. flawed /flɔd/ (adj.) – showing some faults or inconsistencies
Example: Many people criticized the flawed system of getting a driver’s license.

5. repercussion /ˌri pərˈkʌʃ ən / (n.) – bad result of an action that has a long-term effect
Example: One should consider the possible repercussions of his or her actions.


Read the text below.
Dutch school boy Max Verstappen [VURS-ta-pen] makes history as he becomes Formula One’s youngest racer of all time.

Verstappen, 17, signed a deal to race for Toro Rosso [TAW-raw RO-so], sister company of Red Bull and will be replacing the French racer Jean-Eric Vergne [zhan E-rik vern]. The young racer is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and to showcase his speed in the tournament next year.
Asked if he is looking forward to it, he told reporters that he is ready and that he will not let his age stop him from making his dream come true. He added that the most important thing is one’s speed on the track. Since 2010, he had already been talking with Red Bull, saying he felt good about it. He also made contacts with Mercedes [mer-SEY-deez] and sought possible deals.

Despite doubts because of his age, he said that the only thing he could do is perform his best and have a strong head without getting pressured.

One of the people who raised eyebrows to Verstappen’s appointment is former world champion Jacques Villeneuve [zhahk veel-NOEV]. Villeneuve said that his recruitment proved that F1’s super license system is flawed, meaningless, and the worst ever for Formula One.

He further noted that Formula One took a huge risk in having a boy as its representative in the tournament. Appointing Verstappen may have two repercussions. Either it can destroy the young racer or F1 will be meaningless even if Verstappen becomes successful.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is a good idea that Toro Rosso hired Max Verstappen? Explain your answer.
·         How can Verstappen use his age to his advantage?

Discussion B

·         Do you think a person should finish college first before pursuing a career? Explain your answer.
·         What are the good and bad points of starting early in one’s career?

December 3, 2014