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‘Wolff interest nice to hear’ – Max refuses to rule out Mercedes switch

Max Verstappen has not ruled out the possibility of joining Mercedes in the future after Toto Wolff stated he would “love” to have the reigning world champion at the team.

Verstappen’s future has been questioned following off-track turbulence at Red Bull after the conclusion of an investigation into Christian Horner, which resulted in allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against the team principal by a female colleague being dismissed.

Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for 2025 leaves a seat open at Mercedes and in the wake of Verstappen’s win at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Wolff commented that “there is no team that wouldn’t do handstands to have him in the car.”

In March 2022, Verstappen signed a new contract to stay at Red Bull until the end of 2028.

“It doesn’t have any impact on me on what I would do. It’s always nice to hear that,” said Verstappen when asked about whether Wolff’s comments affect him.

“Toto and I, we had our little moments but that’s normal between two teams battling for the championship. But the respect has always been there. From my side, it doesn’t change anything.”

Asked if he would ever join Mercedes in the future, Verstappen said: “I don’t know. I don’t know what happens after 2028. I don’t know if I’m going to stay in F1 or continue or sign a new deal? I don’t know that.”

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A look back at the events from the Saudi Arabian GP, surrounding the Red Bull team and whether there is a possibility Max Verstappen could leave the team.

Verstappen: Red Bull are like a second family

Verstappen is enjoying an unprecedented period of dominance as he looks to equal his own record of 10 consecutive wins with victory this Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix – live on Sky Sports F1.

It was only six months ago when the Dutchman broke Sebastian Vettel’s previous benchmark of nine wins in a row.

Since his F1 debut in 2015, Verstappen has always been part of Red Bull, first with the sister team, then known as Toro Rosso, before joining Red Bull mid-season in May 2016.

He won on his Red Bull debut at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix to become the sport’s youngest F1 race winner at 18 years and 228 days and has gone on to become a three-time world champion.

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Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson discusses Max Verstappen’s dominant start to the 2024 season. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

“I’ve always felt comfortable (at Red Bull) because for me it’s like a second family,” said Verstappen.

“In a family, there might sometimes be, how would you say, not disagreements, but in families you can’t choose family, you can choose friends.

“But, no it’s good. For me, it’s been the same. We just focus on the performance. I would like the chat to be a bit more about the great car we have but hopefully that will come slowly.”

Important to keep key players

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As Max Verstappen looks for his 10th consecutive win for a second time, take a look back at the Red Bull driver’s top five greatest race wins.

A lot of Red Bull’s success has been put down to Adrian Newey but technical director Pierre Wache, aerodynamics designers Craig Skinner and Enrico Balbo plus head of performance engineering Ben Waterhouse have also played an instrumental role in the technical department.

Verstappen insists the team are all focused on their performance on the track and is prepared to see out his current contract, but hinted key members of the team must stay.

“I’m happy within the team. It’s very important that we try to keep the key players in the team for a longer period of time because that’s what goes with the performances as well.

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Highlights of the Saudi Arabian GP from Jeddah.

“At the end of the day, it’s a performance basis. It’s the same as if I wouldn’t perform, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I know how that works. With the deal (my contract) in place, that’s my intention for sure to be here until the end because it would be a great story.

“For me personally, also, to just see it out to the end because it almost basically means that I’ve been part of one family and team.”

Asked who those key players were, Verstappen said: “Many people. I’m not going to name because then people know.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Australian GP schedule

Australian Grand Prix schedule page
Image: The third round of the 2024 F1 season takes place this weekend

Thursday March 21

  • 9.45pm: F3 Practice
  • 10.55pm: F2 Practice

Friday March 22

  • 1am: Australian GP Practice One (session starts at 1.30am)
  • 2.55am: F3 Qualifying
  • 4.45am: Australian GP Practice Two (session starts at 5am)
  • 6.25am: F2 Qualifying
  • 7.15am: The F1 Show
  • 8.30am: Australian GP Practice One highlights
  • 10am: Australian GP practice Two highlights

Saturday March 23

  • 0.10am: F3 Sprint
  • 1.10am: Australian GP Practice Three (session starts at 1.30am)
  • 3.10am: F2 Sprint
  • 4.15am: Australian GP Qualifying build-up
  • 5am: Australian GP Qualifying
  • 7am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
  • 7.30am: Australian GP Qualifying highlights
  • 8.30am: Australian GP Qualifying replay (Sky Showcase)
  • 10.30am: Australian GP Qualifying replay
  • 10pm: F3 Feature Race

Sunday March 24

  • 0.30am: F2 Feature Race
  • 3am: Australian GP build-up: Grand Prix Sunday
  • 4am: THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
  • 6am: Australian GP reaction: Chequered flag
  • 7am: Ted’s Notebook
  • 7.30am: Australian GP highlights
  • 8.30am: Australian GP build-up: Grand Prix Sunday replay
  • 9.30am: Australian GP race replay
  • 10am: Australian GP highlights (Sky Showcase)
  • 11.30am: Australian GP reaction: Chequered flag replay

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, with Sunday’s race live on Sky Sports F1 at 4am. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – no contract, cancel anytime

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