Max Verstappen offers clear clue into Red Bull F1 future after departure rumours

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

Max Verstappen has offered a clear indication he'll see out his full Red Bull contract.

Max Verstappen says he sees no reason why he should leave the Red Bull team after recent rumours that he could depart for Mercedes.

The three-time F1 World Champion has been at the centre of recent rumours over his future, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff making it clear the Dutch driver is a target to replace the departing Lewis Hamilton for 2025.

Max Verstappen: We’re talking about the car, as we should be

The possibility of a shock split between Verstappen and Red Bull emerged in the early season, during the immediate aftermath of the conclusion of Red Bull GmbH’s investigation into F1 team boss Christian Horner.

With the investigation dismissed, Verstappen made his stance clear that his future with Red Bull was contingent on the continued involvement of long-serving adviser Helmut Marko.

With Marko suggesting that he could be suspended by Red Bull as internal investigations into the source of media leaks continued, Verstappen showed his loyalty to the Austrian – opening the door for other teams to attempt to jump on the possible weakening of the relationship between Red Bull and their star driver.

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

F1 Sprint explained: New rules, format and how it differs from standard F1 races

With Hamilton joining Ferrari on a multi-year contract from next season, Wolff hasn’t been shy about making it clear he’d love to secure Verstappen in his place – but the Dutch driver’s latest comments suggest he and Red Bull are now on a more even keel as the furore has died down.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, Verstappen was asked about his future and about the doubts over whether he’d stay with Red Bull until the end of his current contract at the conclusion of 2028.

“After 2021, I signed a long deal with the team,” he said.

“The only thing that I always said from the beginning is we want to have a quiet, peaceful environment.

“I do think lately we’ve been talking about the car so I’m happy about that already. We’re talking about the performance of the car. That’s also how it should be.

“As long as I’m happy with the team, there’s never been a reason to leave.”

Max Verstappen: I doubt I’ll do a Fernando Alonso and be here when I’m 45!

During the week leading up to the Chinese Grand Prix, Aston Martin confirmed they have secured double World Champion Fernando Alonso on a new deal which will see him racing until at least the end of 2026.

Alonso will be 45 years old at the end of his new contract and, with Verstappen having indicated before he’s in F1 for a good time, not a long time, the 26-year-old doubts his own F1 career will have the same longevity as the Spaniard.

“Fernando took a bit of time out, and then found his love again to be fully competitive in Formula 1,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to comment on these kind of things. I don’t think I will be here until I’m 45, but you never know.”

Asked whether he’s surprised Alonso put pen to paper with Aston Martin at this early point of the season, particularly with the driver market being open as seats remain unconfirmed with Red Bull and Mercedes, Verstappen said it’s clear Alonso is convinced by the Silverstone-based team’s climb to the front.

“No [I’m not surprised], but I don’t have all the insights,” he said.

“They have a good relationship with each other as well and you don’t know what they’re talking about in the meantime and how the prospects are, so it’s very difficult for me to really comment about it.

“Clearly, they are very ambitious, they want to win in F1. He believes in the project so that it makes sense to sign.”

Read next: Lewis Hamilton makes ‘hindsight’ admission as Mercedes take ‘new direction’ at Chinese GP