Major blow for Mercedes as Max Verstappen responds to huge €150 million rumour

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen said rumours of a big-money offer aren't a motivation for signing for another team.

Max Verstappen said he’s not interested in the sky-high financial offers that have been at the centre of rumours regarding a switch to Mercedes.

While Max Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull until the end of 2028, the reigning World Champion has been at the centre of driver market rumours as Mercedes has been openly courting him to try tempting him away from the Milton Keynes-based squad.

Max Verstappen: The quickest car is what’s more important

Rumours suggest Verstappen has been offered a huge financial deal to leave Red Bull for Mercedes, perhaps as high as €150 million per year, with driver salaries not falling under the budget cap.

But, if that figure is accurate, Verstappen still says he’s not interested in making a team switch for those reasons.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about money for me. I’m already very happy of course with what I’m having at the team,” he told media in Miami.

“It’s really important about having the quickest car, and of course a good environment. That’s what we have currently, and that’s also what I asked for. As long as the environment is right and we have the quickest car, then it’s quite straightforward.”

“At the end of the day, even if let’s say that would be the case, 150 million….money is not going to be the differentiator for me to go somewhere.

“I’m happy with what I’m earning already, it’s about performance.”

“I know myself that if I will be driving for P5 or P6, you get quite grumpy with yourself. So, it’s always about performance at the end of the day. I mean, everyone knows that, Toto [Wolff] also knows that.

As for whether he is really on the fence about deciding his future, with such big-money offers purportedly being made behind the scenes, Verstappen made it clear: “My future is within Red Bull at the moment.”

As for Wolff’s overtures towards him in a bid to try attracting him to slot into Lewis Hamilton’s vacant Mercedes, Verstappen said he has no problems with the Austrian making the attempt.

“I think everyone should always be optimistic and hopeful in things,” he said.

“But at the moment, I can say that I want to stay with the team because I believe in the project that we have with everyone involved.

“But at the end of the day, in sports but also in life, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.” recommends

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With Verstappen’s future with Red Bull seemingly assured for now, a stumbling block for the Milton Keynes squad is the fact that, by mid-2025, it will have lost the design skills of Adrian Newey as the chief technical officer leaves for new pastures.

Speaking to Sky F1, F1 pundit and former racer Anthony Davidson said that, after so many years of dominance, the two successful sportsmen might be interested in simply pursuing new challenges.

“I think, out of this, both Max and Adrian want the same thing – they want to be with the best team that gives them the best chance of winning,” he said.

“I think, for Adrian Newey, he’s maybe got a little bit more flexibility there. Because a driver is more dependent on the machinery to give them that performance, and then you just take it across the line that extra little bit.

“But, for Adrian, it’s almost like he’ll thrive with more of a challenge. Could he be going to a Williams, perhaps, do a full circle and really deliver some great performance to a team that really needs it.

“But, most likely, as the rumours are at the moment, he’ll be going to the red team – it was enough to lure Lewis Hamilton away for a new challenge, a new chapter. So why not for Adrian Newey as well and, with a little bit of extra help, can get them ahead of Red Bull?

“But the interesting thing is the engine regulation change [in 2026] and that’s the thing that Max must have his eye on.

“He must be thinking are Red Bull Powertrains definitely going to give me what I want, what I need, from the total package, the car and power unit? Because that’s a difficult one to answer.”

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