Max Verstappen’s F1 dream team: Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both overlooked

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen and Lando Norris on the podium at the 2023 United States Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has identified Lando Norris as his ideal teammate if he ended up being an F1 team boss (and driver!)

Max Verstappen has outlined the two drivers he’d have on his team if he ended up in the position of a team boss.

At just 26 years old, Verstappen’s career as an F1 racing driver shows no sign of coming to an end any time soon, but the Dutch driver has been open about wanting to pursue other avenues in motorsport once he leaves F1 behind.

While becoming an F1 team boss hasn’t been on Verstappen’s list, the reigning World Champion had a little bit of fun thinking about who he’d have driving for his team if he ended up suddenly having to carry out Christian Horner’s duties…

Max Verstappen: I’d choose myself to drive for me!

Speaking in an extensive interview with German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Verstappen was asked who he’d choose to have as his two drivers if he was in such a position of authority.

“Can I choose myself?” he questioned, confirming he’d race for his own team if the rules allowed.

But who would he have as his teammate? Verstappen didn’t choose his current Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, and nor did he point toward fellow World Champions Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso.

Instead, the Dutch driver pointed to his contemporary – a driver who is yet to win his first Grand Prix – by looking over at the McLaren team.

“I would choose Lando [Norris],” he said. “He’s still young, with a long career ahead of him. And he can also be very, very fast.”

If Verstappen wasn’t allowed to choose himself as one of the drivers, Verstappen emphasised the strength of McLaren’s line-up by saying he’d snaffle both of their drivers away from Woking.

“I would take Lando and Oscar [Piastri],” he said.

“So the McLaren pairing. Both are good. Lando is just a bit older than Oscar.

“I think Oscar is a fast rookie. He still has things to learn and can improve his race pace, for example. But from what I see, he’s a smart guy. He will win his races.”

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Max Verstappen: Difficult to say who’d be the toughest teammate

Verstappen’s comments come after a year in which both Norris and Red Bull openly flirted with each other about the possibility of, one day, partnering up. Verstappen and Norris are known to be friends (although not ‘BFFs’ as Norris was particularly keen to point out in Abu Dhabi) with both indicating they’d be up for the idea of racing together as teammates.

For now, however, that’s unlikely as Norris remains under contract with McLaren until the end of 2025 – a year after the seat alongside Verstappen becomes available as Perez is entering the final year of his deal with Milton Keynes.

Possibilities include a Perez renewal, a return of Daniel Ricciardo to the RBR team, or perhaps a left-field signing like Liam Lawson – to make Norris happen would require a hefty contract payout to enable a split with McLaren, if the Woking squad were in any way amenable to the idea.

But, out of the 19 drivers on the grid, who does Verstappen believe would be the toughest one for him to deal with as a teammate? Verstappen couldn’t say.

“From the current driver line-up? I don’t know,” he said.

“Everyone is different in different cars. I find it difficult to pick one because there are so many good racing drivers at the moment.”

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