Verstappen expected Vettel to stay at Ferrari

Michelle Foster

Max Verstappen feels Sebastian Vettel 'should've backed off'

Max Verstappen was surprised to see news of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari exit, saying he thought he may have stayed at Ferrari for another couple of years.

Vettel will be leaving the Scuderia at the end of the 2020 campaign, a shock to many who thought that Ferrari would keep a relatively settled line-up amongst all the chaos and rescheduling in the last few months.

Verstappen was one of those people.

“I had also expected him to drive there for another year or two, but Ferrari decided so…,” Verstappen told Sky Germany.

“This is of course a great opportunity for Carlos Sainz. Now we’ll see what Seb does.”

Verstappen also doesn’t believe Mercedes has gained an advantage by testing a two-year-old W09 ahead of the Austrian GP.

Mercedes took to the Silverstone circuit earlier this week for a two-day test, giving both drivers a day in the car.

That car, though, was a two-year-old W09 as teams are only permitted 100km of running in their 2020 cars.

The test was carried out to give Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas an opportunity to shake off the rust and also to get the mechanics used to the new safety protocols.

But while Ferrari will be joining Mercedes in hosting a test for its drivers, Red Bull has opted against it.

Although the team cannot run a two-year-old RB14 given that it is designed for a Renault engine and not a Honda power unit, there was some speculation that Red Bull could put Verstappen and Alexander Albon in an old Toro Rosso for a day.

Verstappen has ruled it out as he doesn’t feel testing an old car is an advantage.

“I don’t think they have an advantage because of that,” he added.

“You have to drive an old car, so I decided not to do it.

“After four or five laps in Austria I will have found the rhythm again.”

Verstappen heads to the Red Bull Ring for Formula 1’s opening double header as the defending champion having won the grand prix in 2018 and again in 2019.

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