Marko Counters McLaren Boss’s Claims of Verstappen Joining Mercedes F1

Published 04/01/2021, 2:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the grid before the race Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


If Lewis Hamilton does bid adieu to F1 by the end of the 2021 F1 season, it will very much light up the driver’s market, with quite a lot of pilots joining the race for a drive in the championship-winning team. Amid the potential mix-up, Zak Brown made his bet on a refreshing George Russell – Max Verstappen line-up in Mercedes for 2022.

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But how far was he right? Although Russell’s seat in Mercedes is pretty much confirmed, there is still uncertainty over how Red Bull would manage Max, if at all the Dutchman shows his interest in joining the Silver Arrows.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the podium after the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Well, Red Bull’s advisor, Helmut Marko, denied Brown’s predictions and termed it as a mere assumption. The 77-year-old reckoned that Max is not leaving the team anytime soon, especially now that Red Bull are looking much pacier than last season.

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However, he also clarified that the Austrian outfit would not be holding onto the flying Dutchman against his will.

Marko responds to Brown’s Mercedes’ 2022 line-up prediction

As reported by RacingNews365, Marko opined that the McLaren boss is just a “talker” but is unaware of the clauses in Max’s contract with Red Bull.

He’s a real talker – talks funny things all day long, but has no idea what our clause is,” Marko said. (Translated from Dutch using Google Translate)

We will not keep anyone with the team against his will. But it will be a long time before we get to work on this theme. We need a championship-winning car. And if we have that, Verstappen will be more than happy to stay with the team.”

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Second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Masashi Yamamoto of Honda and Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko in parc ferme during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Had Lewis quit racing after 2020, Max’s mindset might have been different. However, the 2021 season is looking like a whole new chapter in F1. Red Bull’s challenger is looking very much faster than the Mercedes. And the only reason Mercedes won in Bahrain was because of Lewis’s incredible defensive tactics.

Hence, now that the fortunes are steadily shifting towards Red Bull, Max’s interest in Mercedes could come down drastically.

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Overall, where do you think Max Verstappen could end up by the start of the 2022 F1 season? Will Zak Brown’s words actually come alive? Or will Red Bull prevent Max from switching to Mercedes? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

941 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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