Max Verstappen will keep the door open for a possible switch to Mercedes. That is the view of former F1 driver JJ Lehto, based on wild rumors that Lewis Hamilton could in fact become Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull.
Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan had suggested that the pair could work together at Red Bull Racing and that Hamilton should consider signing a contract with the Austrian team and become a teammate of Verstappen.
A slightly more feasible theory is that it could actually be the Dutchman Verstappen who would find his way to Mercedes, thanks in part to an exit clause in his Red Bull contract. Team boss Horner does not want to comment on the exit clause: “It is clear that the contract between the driver and the team will always be confidential.”
Mercedes has already signed Valtteri Bottas for 2021, but Hamilton has still not signed a new contract with Mercedes. This would be partly due to the possible sale of Mercedes, but also due to the lack of clarity of team boss Toto Wolff, who is also not sure whether he will be involved with the team in the future.
That could be an opening for Verstappen. The Finn Lehto says: “Certainly. A driver of that caliber keeps the door open in all directions.”
Verstappen is in a comfortable position at Red Bull, but Lehto says the fact that Mercedes is consistently faster means it is always an option in the mind of today’s job celebrating its 23rd birthday.
“With Red Bull, Max Verstappen can win races, albeit occasionally. There is nothing to indicate that the balance of power will change drastically in the coming years. Red Bull is the second best and Mercedes is number 1.”
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in one team seems unlikely, but Lehto admits that it would be a move that would be applauded by the fans: “It would be fireworks on the track and behind the scenes. It would be two tough drivers who wouldn’t give an inch. “
Mercedes wanted Verstappen
Max Verstappen has had the opportunity to sign for Mercedes in the past. The German team offered him a contract, but the Dutchman did not accept it. Verstappen has no regrets that he did not sign with Mercedes at the time.
The same goes for Lewis Hamilton who got the chance to sign for Ferrari, but he also missed the opportunity and, like Verstappen, has no regrets.
Whoever regrets the past is Sebastian Vettel about the way he left Red Bull.
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