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Max Verstappen

'Verstappen 'close' to signing for Mercedes after Red Bull saga' - Herbert

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert has claimed that Max Verstappen is on the verge of signing for Mercedes, as he called for Christian Horner to step down.

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Johnny Herbert has claimed that Max Verstappen is "getting quite close" to signing a deal with Mercedes.

Verstappen's future at Red Bull has been called into question in recent weeks after giving his full support to Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko after reports emerged in Saudi Arabia that he would be suspended by the team.

The three-time World Champion hinted that if Marko left the team, his own future would be in doubt, with his father Jos being seen holding talks with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff in Bahrain a week earlier as the Red Bull power struggle played out.

Wolff is seeking a replacement for Lewis Hamilton following his Ferrari move for 2025, with Herbert believing that Team Principal Christian Horner should consider his position after the investigation into his alleged inappropriate behaviour and fallout from that which has destabilised Red Bull.

"It's not a good thing for F1 with the whole thing going on and the belated heat on it," three-time Grand Prix winner Herbert said, as quoted by The Sun.

"It doesn't help the situation for Red Bull who have the best driver in the world at the present time.

"And they're very close to pushing [Max Verstappen] out of the team, I've heard they are getting quite close with the deal with Mercedes.

"It's the impact, the possible destroying of the team and the success they have had.

"It's not about the Christian Horner show, it's about the Max Verstappen show as he is the one winning all these races and championships for Red Bull.

"It would be crazy for Max to leave because of the situation, Jos [Verstappen] has said it will be very destructive and rip it apart and I think it's gone on for far too long.

"In some respects, Christian should really think about it and step aside."

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