Max Verstappen reveals only Red Bull ‘request’ amid Mercedes move rumours

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen next to Red Bull and Mercedes badges.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen has said as long as Red Bull continue to show him loyalty, that is his only “request” of them.

As the latest F1 driver market ‘silly season’ continues to fall into place, the future of Verstappen continues to serve as a major talking point, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff having made his desire to lure the three-time World Champion over to Brackley very clear.

If Red Bull show ‘loyalty’ Max Verstappen never wants to leave

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

The Mercedes speculation was sparked by off-track tensions at Red Bull which engulfed the team during the early stages of the F1 2024 campaign, while the exit announcement of Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey added further fuel to the fire.

Verstappen said at the time that Newey’s exit did not impact his Red Bull future “at the moment”, but stressing that he is a “loyal person”, Verstappen said showing this in return is the key to keeping him around.

“I am quite a loyal person and it is something that means a lot to me,” Verstappen told The Guardian.

“That is what I request from the team and so far that has always been great and that is what I want to keep for a long time.”

And should that remain the case, then Mercedes may never see a real opening to sign Verstappen, as he would be happy to complete his F1 career as a Red Bull-exclusive driver.

“It would be amazing to finish my career here at Red Bull,” Verstappen declared, “all the years staying basically at one team would be incredible.”

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Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028, though it remains to be seen whether he sees out those terms, considering he has on multiple occasions toyed with the idea of leaving Formula 1, citing the increasingly demanding schedule.

Nonetheless, Verstappen said he has “never seen F1 as a job”, even if “things that are not enjoyable” can give it that feel.

“I have never seen F1 as a job,” he declared. “It all started as a hobby, a passion which became a profession. It’s not really a job.

“Of course, the driving is what I really love. Going on the limit in a fast car is really, really nice. It’s more the things around it that make it feel like a job, the things that are not that enjoyable.”

Verstappen leads the way in the Drivers’ Championship as he chases a fourth title on the trot, though there is the potential for a threat to emerge in that quest, with McLaren’s Lando Norris having scored a first career win in Miami, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took the victory in Monaco where Verstappen was consigned to P6.

Verstappen though has given no thought to any implications on the title race.

Asked by media including whether the battle is now on, or if it is too early to say, Verstappen replied: “I don’t even think about that. It’s so long, so many things that can happen.

“One bad race won’t define the Championship.

“But I know that to win a title you need to be consistent and that’s what we have to try and be.”

Verstappen holds a 31-point lead over Leclerc at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

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