Verstappen eyes maiden F1 podium in 2016

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Max Verstappen wants to follow up on his impressive rookie Formula One campaign by securing a maiden podium and scoring twice as much as his 2015 tally next year.

Making his F1 debut with Toro Rosso this season, the Dutchman starred in the Renault-powered STR10, picking up 49 points en route to 12th in the Drivers’ standings with a best result of P4 in both Hungary and the United States.

“Looking back on my first year, I’m very happy”, Verstappen told his official website. “With two fourth places, it was a good season. We were close to a podium, which we didn’t expect prior to the season.

“I scored a lot of points and got points in six consecutive races. It’s important to be consistent. So I think we can label 2015 as a very good season.”

The 18-year-old was logically confirmed at the Faenza-based squad for 2016 and will once again partner Carlos Sainz, who outqualified Verstappen 10-9 over the course of their first season together.

The pair will use year-old Ferrari power units, but that will not prevent the Dutch phenom from entering his sophomore campaign with higher ambitions.

“I want to do better than this year, in every way. I want to qualify better, score more points and finish higher. I’m raising the bar a lot so I’m aiming for a double amount of points and a podium.”

Verstappen capped his remarkable F1 debut by scooping a hat-trick of FIA awards at the Prize Giving ceremony held on Friday night in Paris.

Despite the growing hype, the teenager remains grounded and feels there is more potential to be unlocked.

“As a driver you always want to learn, but you also want to show your speed. So I think I managed to find the right balance. But you can always improve, in every area and it’s never done.

“I can still develop as a driver as well as physically but experience is the most important. The latter builds up over time but then it’s a case of using it.”

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