Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull? ‘Never say never’ as former F1 insider makes big prediction

Oliver Harden
A side-profile shot of Max Verstappen with a prominent Mercedes logo alongside him

Those pesky Max Verstappen to Mercedes rumours? They just aren't going away

As rumours persist over a sensational F1 2025 move to Mercedes, the prospect of Max Verstappen walking away from Red Bull cannot be ruled out.

That is the view of Verstappen‘s former physio Bradley Scanes, who fears the media and marketing pressures on drivers will eventually drive the reigning World Champion away from the sport.

Will Max Verstappen leave Red Bull for Mercedes?

Verstappen has established himself as the dominant force of modern F1, winning 48 of the last 71 races since the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021.

Yet despite having a contract with Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season, the 26-year-old’s future has been plunged into uncertainty over recent weeks amid the off-track sagas engulfing the team.

After an investigation into the conduct of Christian Horner was dismissed in February, Verstappen’s father Jos publicly called for the long-serving team principal to step down from his position, accusing Horner of “playing the victim when he is the one causing the problems.”

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Verstappen has been heavily linked with a move to Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton announced that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year deal from F1 2025.

Verstappen Sr appeared to pour more fuel on the fire on Wednesday, revealing “everyone wants him” and stressing the need to “stay very calm and see what will happen” when it comes to the Red Bull driver’s future.

Speaking before Mr Verstappen’s latest comments came to light, Scanes claimed his former client is likely to remain loyal to Red Bull for as long as the team have a competitive car.

And he echoed Verstappen’s own claims that he is unlikely to remain in F1 for years to come, with the off-track pressures on drivers likely to result in burnout.

Appearing on the Sky F1 podcast: “Max not in a Red Bull suit would be very weird.

“He’s grown up in that team, he loves the team, he loves the mentality of the team – but you could also never say never.

“I think, as long as they’re competitive, he’ll still be there.

“That might change because he always wants to win. And if he doesn’t see a future of winning, then that might be when things change.

“In terms of longevity in the sport, he probably isn’t someone that’s going to stick around for a [Fernando] Alonso or Hamilton length of time.

“He’ll get done what he wants to get done.

“And when he feels happy that he’s achieved everything he wants to achieve – whether that’s when he’s 29, when he’s 30 or when he’s 34 – that will be up to him.

“But for sure, he has so much other stuff going on now – so much other stuff that he enjoys as well, with his Team Redline with his, virtual racing, other series that he wants to do with his dad and other races as well.

“He’s a guy that likes to be home, likes to be with his friends, likes to be with his family and doesn’t always enjoy the other stuff that comes with F1 – the media side of things, the marketing side of things, the other commitments that he’s always having to do.

“And it will be those things that will drive an exceptional talent out of F1 – and he won’t be the first to do that as well.

“The pressures on the drivers to do these sort of events, these meet and greets, this filming stuff is getting more and more and more.

“And adding the amount of races that we’re doing, we will start to see burnout and things like that.

“It’s a lot of time commitments and a lot of effort to do those things.”

Read next: Max Verstappen to Mercedes? The arguments for and against shock Red Bull exit