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Max Verstappen

Verstappen to Mercedes 'plot thickens' - Brundle

Just how will this long-running saga ultimately end?

Verstappen fanzone Austria
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Martin Brundle feels the long-running saga involving Max Verstappen and a potential move to Mercedes is far from over despite claims to the contrary.

Three-time F1 champion Verstappen stated categorically that he will be at Red Bull in 2025. However, he was not asked directly about 2026.

The waters have been muddied by his father Jos, however, who has become involved in a further fall-out with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner this weekend.

Asked whether a move to Mercedes for his son was not out of the question, Verstappen Sr replied: “Correct." Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has made it clear he would love to lure Verstappen Jr to Brackley.

Although Verstappen has a contract with Red Bull through to the end of 2028, it is understood it has an exit clause that allows him to leave should advisor Helmut Marko decide to end his time with the team.

Assessing the politics taking place, former F1 driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Brundle said: "The plot thickens, doesn't it? It does appear that Mercedes Benz is hanging around waiting to see what happens at Red Bull.

"Whether that’s for ’25 or 2026, time will tell.

“And there is apparently a side letter that is an exit clause with Dr Helmut Marko – allegedly, according to the paddock – should Max want to leave.

“Christian absolutely says that’s not going to happen and you have to say Max has been pretty consistent in [saying], ‘I’ve got a long-term contract here, this is where I want to race’.

“And Christian made the point that Max has won every single one of his races in Formula 1 with Red Bull - every podium, every world championship, all three of them, with Red Bull.

“They’re currently leading this one quite comfortably. Just think about that for a minute as to why you’d want to run away from that.

“But something’s up, but it seems as if they’re saying he’s going nowhere for next year especially.”

Verstappen impressive despite shenanigans

Through the chaos, Verstappen has performed superbly, winning seven of the 10 grands prix to open up a 69-point cushion to the chasing pack, spearheaded by McLaren's Lando Norris.

This is despite the fact Red Bull has now been caught in terms of pace and performance, notably by McLaren after it introduced a major upgrade package at the Miami Grand Prix.

Brundle has been thoroughly impressed. "HIs talent has had to shine through," said Brundle.

“What Max had to sort of dance around from Bahrain onwards, with all the shenanigans that are going on in the team, the inter-team politics in play, and it involves his dad, it involves the team he’s driving for, for his team principal.

“And Max somehow had to tread a very fine line through the middle of that and then go out and absolutely dominate the races in the early part of the season.

“Hugely impressive.”

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