Max Verstappen states his Red Bull future ‘intention’ as Mercedes move questions linger

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen questioned by reporters.

Max Verstappen was a popular man in Melbourne on media day.

Max Verstappen has affirmed his intention to see out his Red Bull contract through to 2028, as “that’s why, of course, I signed the deal in the first place.”

Despite having the longest contract of any driver on the grid, sudden speculation about his future has become a popular topic of conversation in the wake of off-track controversy at Red Bull.

Max Verstappen confirms ‘intention’ to stay with Red Bull

While Verstappen could equal the all-time record he set last season of 10 race wins in a row this weekend in Australia, which would make it 20 victories in 21 Grands Prix overall, the sudden proposition of a potential move to Mercedes has been a significant talking point in recent weeks.

The three-time World Champion has looked to quell that however, explaining that while the sport remains a “performance business”, should Red Bull keep hold of certain “key players” in his eyes, he maintains that staying with the team is his priority.

When asked if he would remain a Red Bull driver all the way through until 2028, Verstappen told reporters in Melbourne: “That’s why, of course, I signed the deal in the first place.

“And what I said before also, I’m happy within the team and, of course, it’s very important that we try to keep the key players in the team for a longer period of time because that’s what goes with the performances as well.

“At the end of the day, it’s a performance business. It’s the same as if I wouldn’t perform, I wouldn’t be sitting here, so I know how that works.

“But yeah, for sure, with the deal in place, that is also my intention for sure, to be here until the end because, of course, it would be a great story for me personally also, if you just see it out to the end because it means that I’ve been part of one family and one team.”

When asked who he meant by the ‘key players’ to try and keep at Red Bull to keep him, Verstappen replied with a laugh: “Many people, I’m not going to name [them] because then people know!”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024: Where to buy, how to watch, cheapest ticket prices and best package deals

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

Given the off-track conversations surrounding the team and sudden discussions about Verstappen’s future, he was asked if he still feels as ‘comfortable’ as he did a few months ago despite what has happened since.

“I always felt comfortable because, for me, it’s like a second family,” he responded.

“In a family there might sometimes be… not disagreements, but as you know, in families, you can’t choose family, you can choose friends – but it’s good.

“Honestly, for me, it’s been the same, and we just focus on the performance.

“Like I said before, of course, I would like the chat to be a little bit more about the great car that we have. But hopefully, that will come slowly.”

Verstappen admitted it was “nice to hear” of Mercedes and Toto Wolff’s interest in him, and when pressed on that and if he would ever see himself switching teams – he did not rule out the possibility entirely.

“I don’t know,” he replied when asked if he would ever drive for Mercedes.

“I don’t know what happens after ’28. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in F1, or if I’m going to continue, if I’m going to sign a new deal [with Red Bull], I don’t know that yet.”

Read next: Max Verstappen distances himself from Christian Horner talk: ‘I’m the driver, that’s what I’m hired for’