Max Verstappen pours cold water on ’42-year-old’ driver’s ‘strange’ Red Bull hopes

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, Red Bull badge

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Max Verstappen has all but quashed rumours Fernando Alonso could join him at Red Bull next season as that would be a “strange” decision signing a “42-year-old”.

Amidst Red Bull’s off-track drama, F1’s rumour mill has suggested Verstappen could leave the team at the end of this year to join Mercedes with Alonso then expected to replace him.

‘I would find it strange to sign a 42-year-old driver’

However, it’s also been suggested the Aston Martin could take Sergio Perez’s seat and, alongside Verstappen, create an all-World Champion line-up at Red Bull.

“Christian Horner has always been a very, very big fan of Fernando Alonso,” former driver turned pundit Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland. “Apparently there are big intentions in the background to bring Fernando Alonso into the cockpit next year.”

The Spaniard is said to be “pushing very hard” according to The Race to make the move happy with his Aston Martin contract expiring at the end of the season.

However, Verstappen believes he would be a “strange” choice for Red Bull given the team usually promotes from within.

“I don’t care who sits next to me. I also said that to the team,” he told De Limburger. “I always believe in myself and in my opinion, I am the boss of everyone.

“But if you ask me, I would find it strange to sign a 42-year-old driver. Red Bull has always had the tradition of training young drivers itself. The signing of Sergio Pérez was a departure from that trend, especially with a 42-year-old driver.

“I can get along with Fernando very well, that’s not the issue, but I am also looking at the future of the team. Ultimately, it is up to them (Red Bull) to determine who drives where.” recommends

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Alonso isn’t the only driver mentioned in F1’s rumour mill with Verstappen linked to a move to Mercedes with Toto Wolff telling the media he would “love” to sign the 26-year-old.

Verstappen, who confirmed past talks with Mercedes before he joined Red Bull, reckons Wolff’s comments are to be expected given his success in Formula 1 with three World titles.

“He can’t do anything else. I understand why he does it. You can’t ignore me,” he said.

“In the past, even before Red Bull, we had discussions with Mercedes. Then they said: you have to do this and that to become successful. I think I have now shown how it should be done.

“They want me in that car, I understand that. Look: a few years ago there was of course a little more tension between us and Mercedes…”

Pressed to give a ‘little bit more’ detail on that, he replied with a smile: “I would like to say a little more, yes, haha. But that can all be forgiven and forgotten. That’s true on both sides.

“But that doesn’t mean I think I should be driving somewhere else right now. In addition, Mercedes does not have the fastest car at the moment. That really is the Red Bull.”

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