Verstappen doesn't regret turning down Mercedes offer in 2014

Max Verstappen and his management team insist they have no regrets about committing to Red Bull in Formula 1, despite the interest Mercedes showed in him in 2014.

Verstappen doesn't regret turning down Mercedes offer in 2014
Listen to this article

The Dutchman’s decisions over what path to take in F1 are explored in a new documentary called ‘Whatever it takes’ that is being broadcast on Dutch channel Ziggo Sport.

There, the show explores meetings that Verstappen’s management team had with both Red Bull and Mercedes representatives at the 2014 German Grand Prix to discuss an F1 seat for the following campaign.

Following discussions with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko at the team’s motorhome at Hockenheim, Verstappen’s management team were immediately approached by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda and invited for talks with them.

In the end, Red Bull’s offer of a firm drive with Toro Rosso for 2015 trumped the fact that Mercedes could not offer anything in F1 – as it had no vacancy with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg under contract.

At best, Mercedes could only have offered either a reserve role or a paid-for GP2 campaign, something that did not seem as attractive as an immediate step up to grand prix racing.

Although Mercedes has gone on to dominate F1 and taken every title since, Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen and father Jos Verstappen are still adamant they did the right thing.

Asked if there were any regrets about that key choice they made in 2014, Vermeulen told Motorsport.com: “No, I think we made the right choice at the time.

"All three of us [Max, Jos and Vermeulen] still fully support that decision. I think at Red Bull, Max did get super guidance and also a super preparation for his F1 debut.

“We are at Red Bull and feel really comfortable there. What the future brings, is the future. But for the time being we are very happy with the choices we have made.”

Jos Verstappen added: “At that time, with the information we had, we have definitely made the right choice.”

Read Also:

Verstappen is currently under a long-term contract with Red Bull, which commits him in to the 2022 period where the team does not yet have an engine deal in place.

While that has put fresh doubt again on whether Verstappen can hope for a world title in the near future, Vermeulen is comfortable with where things stand.

“Again in that period of time, we have made the right decision,” he said. “The future will show whether that has been the right decision, but at least all three of us fully support it.”

Asked what Red Bull was telling them about its future engine situation, Vermeulen said: “Of course Red Bull's management keeps us well informed about where things stand, where they want to go and also what their target is. That process is ongoing.

“First, we have a wonderful season ahead of us with Honda. We are very positive about what is on the shelf for next year's engine. But we are also very interested in what will happen from 2022 onwards.

“They are very open and transparent to Max about that. We are waiting patiently and have every confidence that it will come to a successful conclusion.”

Jos Verstappen said that there was little point in getting too down about the fact Red Bull has not yet delivered a car capable of beating Mercedes to the title.

Asked if it was frustrating, he said: “No, not really. I think that's sometimes a little bit more frustrating for me than for Max, or maybe more or less the same.

“But Max has to make the most of it of course. We're at Red Bull and know what we have to do. You can be frustrated but that doesn't help you at all, as Max has said before.

“We all want Max to fight for the world title, but it is also nice to work towards that goal together. There is some beauty in that as well. So let's hope we can succeed in doing that at Red Bull next year.”

shares
comments

Related video

Podcast: The best and worst of Formula 1 in 2020
Previous article

Podcast: The best and worst of Formula 1 in 2020

Next article

Formula E can supply F1 with drivers, engineers - Mercedes

Formula E can supply F1 with drivers, engineers - Mercedes
Load comments
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022