Max Verstappen casts further doubt on Red Bull future with Lewis Hamilton comment

Verstappen has been linked with a possible move to Mercedes for the 2025 Formula 1 season amid ongoing turmoil at Red Bull

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Max Verstappen has pointed to Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari to explain why he will not rule out leaving Red Bull to join Mercedes in the future.

The Dutchman has been linked with a sensational move from the constructors’ champions to replace Hamilton at the Silver Arrows from 2025, with rumours swirling around the paddock that his father Jos Verstappen met with team principal Toto Wolff to discuss the possibility.

Verstappen Sr is reportedly unhappy with how the team are being managed under Christian Horner and, despite his son having a contract until 2028 with the Austrian team, it is believed Max could exercise a break clause to leave the team where he has won three titles.

And the 26-year-old thinks that there are similar odds of Hamilton’s move happening to him departing Red Bull, before reiterating his current intention is to stay with the team.

Max Verstappen and Jos Verstappen ahead of 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen and Jos Verstappen ahead of 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“I think no one would have ever realised that Lewis could have moved to Ferrari in my life, and that doesn’t matter. That’s not related to F1, or whatever, right? It’s just general life,” Verstappen told the press ahead of Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“You never you never know what happens or what comes to you, or whatever happens around you, or what might influence you. So you can never say 100 per cent that’s how it’s going to be. And I approach my life like that, but I also don’t think about it too much. I’m very relaxed. Like I said, I’m very happy at the team.”

Looking ahead with caution

In addition to huge moves being made in the driver market, teams will have to make preparations for the upcoming engine regulation changes in 2026.

Red Bull have already agreed a deal to move forward with engines manufactured by Ford, but there is a question mark over just how competitive Red Bull would be with the American car giant behind them.

Verstappen admitted there is a “question mark” that remains over the new regulations, and his stance on remaining with the team could change if their performance is not at a high standard. However, the three-time world champion acknowledges he made a commitment to repay Red Bull’s loyalty with a long-term deal.

Quizzed about staying beyond 2026, Verstappen replied: “That has always been the intention of signing, that’s why we signed so long to be here. And of course, it’s about the performance of the car and from 2026 onwards.

“That is a bit of a question mark with new regulations. That’s what I knew that when I signed my contract, but I also know what they [Red Bull] have done for me in my career.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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