As Max Verstappen continues his dominance in the F1 Drivers’ World Championship, rumors are rife that the Red Bull Racing driver might be making a switch to Mercedes. The speculations gained further momentum when reports emerged of a rift between Verstappen and team principal Christian Horner after the latter got accused of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has already announced the end of his longtime partnership with Mercedes, so a seat lies vacant there for the next season. While Verstappen has not explicitly confirmed if he has gotten an offer from Mercedes, Red Bull’s Director, Helmut Marko, has given his reaction to it. Here is what he had to say.

Helmut Marko Reacts on Reports of Max Verstappen Moving to Mercedes

Marko had an interview with the Austrian publication OE24, where he was asked about the rumors of Verstappen’s eventual shift to Mercedes. The former pro racing driver replied, “You have to ask Toto Wolff.” So yeah, the 80-year-old has given a sly answer to the question, urging the media to ask the Mercedes CEO if he had offered the vacant seat to Verstappen.

Max Verstappen Mercedes

Verstappen currently has a long-term contract with Red Bull which lasts till 2028. However, the  Belgian-Dutch driver can still leave the team as per a clause in his contract, which allows him to be relieved if Helmut Marko exits Red Bull. A few days ago, Verstappen himself addressed the speculation in an interview, revealing that he is planning to stay in Red Bull at least now.

“They [Mercedes] want me in that car, I understand that. Look: a few years ago, there was of course a little more tension between us and Mercedes… But that can all be forgiven and forgotten. That’s true on both sides. But that doesn’t mean I think I should be driving somewhere else right now,” said the three-time world champion.

Verstappen and Horner’s Rift Raised Concerns About the Driver’s Future in the Team

Ever since Horner has been accused of sexual misconduct by a worker in the team, a charge that he has been cleared of, there has been tension between him and Verstappen. The driver’s father particularly has been very vocal about his displeasure and has repeatedly asked Horner to step down from his position.

Max Verstappen Mercedes

Meanwhile, Mercedes continued to observe the situation closely to see if Verstappen could transition to their team. However, new reports suggest that the driver has agreed to work with Horner, as long as he keeps leading the team to victory. As of now, Verstappen remains in Red Bull and currently leads the 2024 World Championship.

Also, the 26-year-old is not the only one whose future remains uncertain in his team. Ever since Hamilton announced his switch to Ferrari, all teams have pulled up their socks, and a marry-go-round is expected to take place in the next season. As of now, Carlos Sainz’s seat has been given to Hamilton, and it remains to be seen where will the Spanish driver find a seat now.

Also Read: Japanese Grand Prix 2024: Start Time and How to Watch in Different Regions


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