Max Verstappen has revealed the two Formula 1 stars he would sign to his own race team, “outside of myself, of course.”
In reality, it’s unlikely the Red Bull driver will ever be in position to select a driver line-up after rubbishing the idea of becoming a team principal post-retirement, insisting he’s no heir to Christian Horner. Still, F1’s No.1 does have a dream duo.
Verstappen has gone head-to-head with many a talented team-mate across eight seasons, from Daniel Ricciardo to Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon to his current sparring partner Sergio Perez.
None of them make the cut in Verstappen’s dream team, though. There’s also no room for his fierce rival and perhaps the greatest of all-time, Lewis Hamilton.
Instead, Verstappen has selected a mixture of World Championship experience and youthful potential in two drivers who have never hid their admiration for our defending F1 king.
“Can I choose anyone, outside of myself of course? Because I can’t be the team boss and the driver? It’s not possible? I’m just kidding,” Verstappen told Mobil 1 The Grid, eventually breaking with a beaming smile.
“Well, of the current people who are capable of being the Team Principal I would also go for Christian [Horner].”
“I find that really hard, the drivers, because I think there are a lot of good drivers. And I would go probably for an experienced one. So I would go for Fernando [Alonso].
“And then I would take a young guy and I would put Lando in the car. Yeah, Fernando and Lando.”
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Alonso may not have won a Grand Prix for almost a decade but he remains one of the grid’s finest drivers, having shown exhilarating flashes of his heyday pace in a temperamental Alpine since his 2021 comeback.
Winner of the 2005 and 2006 World Championships, Alonso has started more Grands Prix than any other driver, and will continue to build his tally at Aston Martin this year. Across 19 Formula 1 seasons the Spaniard has seldom held the keys to the fastest car but always outperformed his machinery.
Norris might be a surprise pick to some, especially ahead of Hamilton on the current grid, but Verstappen considers the British driver a close friend.
The McLaren star will embark on his fifth Formula 1 season in 2023. A race win has still eluded him but few would doubt Norris’ Championship-winning potential.
Both Alonso and Norris sided with Verstappen ahead of the Abu Dhabi 2021 showdown, although that’s no surprise from the veteran Alonso, remembering that the 41-year-old has feuded with Hamilton throughout the seven-time Champion’s career.
Alonso has made a public offer to Verstappen over teaming-up for a tilt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, hoping to enlist a fellow two-time F1 Champion to help him win the historic endurance race for a third time.
Meanwhile, Norris and Verstappen’s friendship extends outside the paddock, having been pictured in nightclubs together and regularly live-streamed gaming sessions.
Last season, Norris was full of praise for Verstappen on Sky Sports: “He’s done amazing – very impressive. Similar to Lewis [Hamilton] in previous years; when you’ve got a car that can deliver and can win races, he’s the one taking his opportunities.
“He’s one of the most talented drivers ever to come into Formula 1, one of the fastest. No doubt he’s going to win his second [title] this year and most likely go on to win a few more in the future.”