Max Verstappen addresses Fernando Alonso’s Red Bull exit claims

Fernando Alonso had predicted there was 'zero chance' of Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull

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Max Verstappen has insisted he’s ‘very happy’ at Red Bull ahead of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix and said wants to stay there until the end of his contract in 2028, despite the slew of rumours linking the reigning triple-world-champion to a move away from Milton Keynes.

The investigation into team principal Christian Horner for ‘inappropriate and controlling behaviour’ has ignited a civil war that had already brewing at Red Bull with Helmut Marko‘s continued presence at the team also under threat, but Verstappen threw his support behind the special advisor.

While it’s been smooth sailing for Verstappen at two of the opening three races to the season, his streak of nine consecutive grand prix wins was brought to an end by brake problems in Australia – but Fernando Alonso still predicted there’s ‘no chance’ the Dutchman leaves Red Bull.

“From my side, I’m very happy with where I’m at and we want to keep it that way,” Verstappen told the media.

“I have a contract with Red Bull until 2028. I want to see if I actually want to continue first after that, for me that’s the most important thing, it’s not so much about ‘where’. I don’t really think about these kind of things.”

Red Bull are set to bring more upgrades to Suzuka for the already dominant RB20, but the story of their season so far remains the off-track controversies that have engulfed the team starting before their car was even launched.

The Horner scandal still far from over as his accuser has appealed the decision to clear the team principal of any wrongdoing, but has already included a bombshell leak of images and messages allegedly sent by Geri Halliwell’s husband.

That was just the tip of the iceberg though, with Max‘s dad Jos Verstappen rowing with Horner in Bahrain and also contacting Mercedes officials, before he was noticeably absent from the track the following week.

Then it became apparent that Marko was under investigation for those Horner leaks and feared for his own future at the team, but Max Verstappen made it clear he’d only remain at Red Bull if Marko also continued.

But at least one thing seems cleared up at Suzuka, as the Dutchman believes the brake failure in Australia that ended his race after just three laps was a one-off incident.

“We saw already some signs on Saturday when things were not looking how they should have done,” Verstappen added.

“In hindsight you can say it was coming from the brake calliper but we couldn’t find any fault with the car, but in a way, when you have a fault with the build specification it’s a bit worse. We’ll move on and learn from it that it doesn’t happen again. Normally it shouldn’t.”

What do Aston Martin have to do with this?

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium after 2023 Dutch Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Aston Martin have been pursuing Adrian Newey as tiny cracks potentially start to appear in Red Bull‘s foundations.

But there’s also rumours that they simultaneously could lose their lead driver with Fernando Alonso linked to Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton‘s replacement, or to Red Bull if Verstappen does depart.

“If Max leaves Red Bull, maybe that has an impact (on me) but I think there is zero chance of that happening,” Alonso had said previously.

“So I think that’s something that I’m not thinking too much about. What I want to do is just concentrate on my stuff here and just this race, before, the summer, to make a decision of if I keep racing around, and if I keep racing, where will be the best possibility.

“That stress that is happening, I know the rumours and things like that. We are not into those too much, I’m not into those for sure.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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