MP Motorsport will return to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship in 2017, and will field two drivers from the Red Bull Junior Team programme in Richard Verschoor and Neil Verhagen.
Verschoor continues his involvement with MP for a second season after taking two Formula 4 titles with the outfit in 2016, and the sixteen-year-old Dutchman believes moving up into the 2.0-litre Renault-backed series is a logical step for his career.
“It’s a logical next step in my career,” said Verschoor. “F4 with MP and the KNAF proved to be a great decision for my debut season in motor racing; it really allowed me to make a name for myself. It soon transpired what I would be doing in 2017 – together with Red Bull, we quickly decided on staying with MP.
“I have lots of confidence in the team, and look forward to attacking the season with them. I’ve done several tests in the Formula Renault car this winter. Again, the goal must be to win, even though I realise that I will face a challenge made twice as hard by guys with two or three years of experience in Formula Renault.”
American racer Verhagen is a new addition to the Red Bull Junior Team for 2017, and the fifteen-year-old finished as champion in the American F1600 championship organised by the SCCA in 2016, and he admits that it is a big step up for him this year.
“It’s quite a big step from Formula F to single-seaters with downforce,” said Verhagen. “But I feel I am ready. I’ve done several tests with MP and shown good pace.
“Winning the championship is everybody’s goal, so it’s mine as well, but I will approach the season race-by-race, aiming to maximise each race weekend and the days in between. I’ve built a good relationship with MP Motorsport, and I’m sure we will form a strong team.”
Team Principal Sander Dorsman was pleased that Red Bull were ‘more than happy’ to place their young drivers within his MP Motorsport team, and believes both should be towards the front of the grid from the very start of the season.
“With Richard and Neil we hold two strong cards for Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 honours,” said Dorsman. “They will both receive ample support from Red Bull, who were more than happy to place them with us.
“The Eurocup will be an amazing education for them, as it’s one of the strongest championships in Europe. At the same time I expect them to be up there right from the start. Their level of talent is that high.”