Verstappen "focused on myself" amid Mercedes F1 2022 links

Max Verstappen claims he is not paying much attention to speculation linking him to Mercedes’ Formula 1 squad for 2022 if Lewis Hamilton quits, saying he remains “focused on myself”.

Verstappen "focused on myself" amid Mercedes F1 2022 links
Listen to this article

Mercedes announced earlier this month that seven-time world champion Hamilton had signed a one-year contract extension to cover the 2021 season.

It led to speculation about what Hamilton’s future could hold after this year, and whether Red Bull driver Verstappen might be a potential replacement if the British driver quit the sport.

Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner expected Verstappen to be “top of the list” for Mercedes in the event that Hamilton left, but expressed his confidence that the team’s relationship with the Dutchman was “very strong.” 

Following the launch of Red Bull’s new car for the 2021 season, the RB16B, Verstappen downplayed the suggestions and stressed his focus lay on the upcoming campaign.

“At the end of the day, I don’t know what Lewis is going to do,” Verstappen said when asked if he had an eye on Hamilton’s future. “But I just focus on myself, and I’m very focused on this year and trying to make it a success.

“It’s still early in the season, with only basically a shakedown [complete], so those kind of things I’m not really thinking about at this stage.”

Verstappen’s existing Red Bull contract lasts until the end of the 2023 season, but Horner confirmed earlier this month that there was an escape clause relating to the team’s performance.

Read Also:

Red Bull recently announced that it would be taking on Honda’s power units following the Japanese manufacturer’s exit at the end of 2021, forming Red Bull Powertrains.

The deal will see Red Bull operate its own power units in-house from 2022-2024, and could see it develop an all-new power unit when the next generation design is introduced in 2025. But Verstappen said the Red Bull Powertrains deal “doesn’t change anything for me.”

“It’s exciting, but at the same time, I’m also not too focused on it at the moment,” added Verstappen. “We are living in the moment, trying to have a good season first of all this year, and the smart people in the background will handle those kind of things with the engine.”

shares
comments

Related video

Perez: My experience a ‘big’ weapon in bid to beat Verstappen
Previous article

Perez: My experience a ‘big’ weapon in bid to beat Verstappen

Next article

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022