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Max Verstappen

F1 legend tells Verstappen he would be “stupid” to leave Red Bull

Max Verstappen's long-term Red Bull future has been questioned, but one F1 legend has told him to stay put.

Verstappen Miami
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Juan Pablo Montoya has warned Max Verstappen that he would be "stupid" if he were to leave Red Bull. 

The future of the reigning world champion has been in doubt across the first few races of 2024 after the political unrest that engulfed Red Bull following the internal investigation into Team Principal Christian Horner's alleged behaviour and the fall-out that followed. 

Verstappen, who is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028, is being heavily courted by Mercedes' Toto Wolff as a Lewis Hamilton replacement, and indicated that his own future would be in doubt if key ally Dr Helmut Marko left his role as Red Bull motorsport advisor, not of his own accord.

However, given the competitive state of Red Bull and Mercedes, Verstappen's Red Bull is expected to still be the class-leader in 2025, with another world title seen as easily within his grasp should he stay. 

But there are doubts for 2026 and the engine and chassis overhaul that is coming, although six-time grand prix and two-time Indy 500 winner Montoya believes Verstappen should stay where he is.

"I really don't [see Verstappen leaving], I think he would be stupid if he did," Montoya exclusively told RacingNews365.

"Max has everybody talking: 'Oh, he is going to leave Red Bull', and you go, 'why would you leave Red Bull if they're winning everything?'

"Unless you are not there for the right reason, you will leave, but if you are there for the right reason, you wouldn't touch it. 

"Maybe Jos is pissed and wants to drive Max away, it could be, but honestly, he is in the right situation right now, and it would be crazy to go. 

"With me, it was the same thing, I put myself where I felt I needed to be and was happy with the decisions I was making."

2026 and Red Bull

Part of Wolff's pitch for Verstappen is built around the 2026 engine regulations, and the fact that Mercedes has a proven track record of getting such changes right, as it did in 2014.

Red Bull's in-house powertrains division, Red Bull Powertrains, is producing its first unit for 2026, with Horner revealing how RBPT had poached over 200 staff from Mercedes High Performance Powertrains. 

He has conceded that RBPT is 70 years behind Ferrari in terms of engine building knowhow, although Montoya is confident that the division will succeed.

"I don't see it. I don't see Red Bull failing," he added.

"In the end, there is work to be done [for 2026], but they've hired the right people to get the job done."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix