‘He may have to leave’ – Max Verstappen put ‘in the equation’ for 2025 silly season move

Henry Valantine
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen holding his helmet after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

The future of Max Verstappen has been up for debate in recent weeks after behind-the-scenes goings-on at Red Bull, and Formula 1 journalist Fred Ferret believes his name cannot be fully ruled out when discussing 2025 driver moves.

With father Jos and Helmut Marko both having spoken publicly about their misgivings following the fallout into the investigation into team principal Christian Horner, which was dismissed by parent company Red Bull GmbH, Verstappen himself has become coy on the subject of his future – with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitting he would “love to have him” drive his car next year.

F1 journalist ‘not that sure’ Max Verstappen will stay at Red Bull

Ferret, who covers the sport for respected French publication L’Equipe, was appearing on the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast and when the subject of the Red Bull drivers were brought up, particularly Sergio Perez and his future, given his contract expires at the end of this season, Ferret believes the three-time World Champion’s name cannot be ruled out of a move just yet.

“I have to say that you have to put Max in the equation. He may have to leave at one point,” Ferret explained.

“If he leaves Red Bull then the things are very different, and then I would say that Checo’s seat is kind of saved because you need someone to have the legacy of the driving from the old cars.

“So this is something that you must add on your mind for ’25 and the years later.”

When pressed on his opinion and asked if he believes Verstappen will be a Red Bull driver next season, Ferret explained: “I’m not that sure. Maybe Max, because of Jos, because of Helmut, because of everything, will have to leave. I would say that it’s a possibility.”

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Sky Sports presenter Natalie Pinkham, sat on the same panel, took the opposite view – for next season, at least.

While Red Bull are the current dominant team, she cannot see Verstappen leaving, though that may open up more when the sport’s sweeping regulation changes come in 2026 and Red Bull’s current partnership with Honda ends.

“I would be absolutely amazed if Max left for ’25,” Pinkham said in response to Ferret’s opinion.

“I can see potentially ’26 with the engine change and, you know, perhaps you [Ferret] know something that we don’t in terms of how far advanced Red Bull are in the development in that area.

“I mean, it would be staggering to walk away from this rocket ship of a car in ’25.

“We’re talking about walking away from the entirely dominant car. We’re not talking about walking away from a Mercedes, we’re talking about walking away from a Red Bull.

“So say he’s got this year sewn up. So that’s his fourth [World Championship], he’s going to walk away from a potential fifth?”

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