F1 Legend: Mercedes the Only Option for Max Verstappen Next Season

“For next year Mercedes is the only option for Max. Ferrari is full. Max is not stressed."

by Sead Dedovic
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F1 Legend: Mercedes the Only Option for Max Verstappen Next Season
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

The next season could bring many changes, along with the changes that have already occurred a few months ago. What everyone knows is that Lewis Hamilton will be part of Ferrari from next season. On the other hand, this will lead to the departure of other drivers. 

One of those leaving his team next season is Carlos Sainz, currently a Ferrari driver. The Spaniard will seek happiness elsewhere after the end of the season. Several teams are mentioned as options for the future. 

Although Hamilton and Sainz are big names in the world of F1, the biggest attention will be on Max Verstappen. The Dutchman is still part of Red Bull, but there is much talk about him possibly leaving the Austrian team, primarily because of Christian Horner's situation. 

Although Verstappen confirmed a week ago that he has no intention of leaving Red Bull, some are still not convinced of the Dutchman's sincerity. 

Former F1 star Ralf Schumacher often provides analyses and predictions regarding F1. Schumacher this time commented on the fate of the 26-year-old Dutchman, considering Max's options for the next season. Schumacher believes that Mercedes is the only option for Verstappen next year.

“I think the departures will make him look at the situation a little more calmly. There is nothing worse than too many departures in Formula 1. As for Max Verstappen, as I said, he is still lucky for next year," -Schumacher told Sky Germany, as quoted by MIRROR.

“For next year Mercedes is the only option for Max. Ferrari is full. Max is not stressed. If he decides to leave the team in 2026, anything is possible. At Mercedes, Toto Wolff is not only the team principal but also the CEO."

Ralf Schumacher
Ralf Schumacher© Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images Sport
 

Schumacher feels that every team would want to have Verstappen on their team. However, he hopes that the Dutchman will remain part of this team in the coming seasons. 

Ralf is someone who considers the option that Red Bull could fall apart due to all the events. 

It's hard to make predictions about what awaits Verstappen in the future, but it's certain that nobody's fate in one team is guaranteed. Many factors depend on it, such as driver satisfaction within the team, conflicts, and results. There are still good chances that the 26-year-old will stay, so let's wait and see.

Looking at the headlines of foreign media, there's a chance that Mercedes will offer Verstappen a contract that will break all records. Toto Wolff has openly spoken several times about the interest in Verstappen, but he hasn't wanted to disclose specific details about whether they are in negotiations. 

The Mercedes team principal is provoking anger from Red Bull executives, who believe Wolff is using inappropriate measures to attract Verstappen to drive for Mercedes next season. 

News that leaked a few days ago only confirms that something is happening regarding Verstappen and Mercedes. 

Namely, according to some headlines, Wolff had a meeting with Verstappen's team after the Miami race. The goal was to determine what plans and intentions the 26-year-old has, and whether he is willing to agree to certain conditions. Motorsport also confirmed that even Verstappen's side admitted that there were negotiations, shocking many. 

F1 experts, as well as former stars, believe that Verstappen could remain part of this team, despite everything that's happening. The main reason is considered to be the fact that Red Bull will likely remain the main competitor for championship titles in the coming seasons. It's hard to expect Verstappen to leave a winning team where he has great chances to win more championships.

Marc Priestley reacts to Max Verstappen rumors

Former F1 mechanic Marc Priestley is one of those who has reacted to the rumors about Verstappen's departure. He believes that moving to Mercedes is not an unreasonable option, but he emphasizes that it's not easy for the Dutchman to make a decision now that Red Bull is leading the way. 

Priestley stresses that Verstappen's ambitions could potentially be the reason for leaving Red Bull. Verstappen is not someone who chases records, nor does he intend to be part of the F1 scene in his later years. He is known as a driver eager for challenges, so the challenge at Mercedes could be attracting for him.

Priestley elaborated on the situation, suggesting that if Verstappen isn't finding enjoyment in F1, he won't hesitate to leave, which is understandable. Considering that Red Bull is likely to dominate next year, Verstappen might not be inclined to settle for battling in the midfield. 

However, with Mercedes needing powerful improvements to compete at the top again, it's uncertain if Verstappen would want to take on that challenge. Looking ahead to 2026, it could mirror the scenario when Lewis Hamilton was lured away from McLaren by Mercedes based on promises made back in 2012.

Mercedes Max Verstappen Ferrari
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