‘Time Is Ticking’ – Former F1 Champion Believes Max Verstappen Will Ditch Red Bull for Mercedes Soon

Published 04/05/2021, 8:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


The fact that Max Verstappen is a multiple championship-winning quality driver is not in doubt. His performances over the last few years put him on the same level as Lewis Hamilton. As such, there is little doubt over who Mercedes F1’s first choice will be if and when Lewis Hamilton calls it a day.

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But will the man who has been a long term servant of Red Bull leave them for their rivals? Former F1 champion Damon Hill certainly believes so.

Verstappen has long been tipped to win a title or two. But he hasn’t been able to do that because he simply doesn’t have the package to do so. This year appears to be his first chance to make a run for the crown.

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But what if he isn’t able to achieve it? Surely for a man so competitive, patience must be growing thin.

Hill reckons Verstappen could vacate his seat with the Austrian team if Mercedes come calling, since the lure of winning titles will be too hard to resist.

Formula One F1. Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates second place on the podium with the trophy Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

He said, “I think Mercedes will be high on Max’s list as well.

“He’s been very loyal to Red Bull, but if they can’t provide the competitiveness he needs… Time is ticking. He was the youngest F1 winner back in 2016, but he hasn’t been able to fight for a championship yet. That will be in his mind.”

Can Max Verstappen win the championship this year?

What the future holds for Verstappen beyond the 2021 season no one knows. However, irrespective of that, Max knows he is a Red Bull driver at the moment who is eager to win a championship.

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

He certainly has a shot considering the progress Red Bull have made. But he’ll need some help from Sergio Perez. As we saw in the Bahrain race, without a second Red Bull car in the heat of the battle, Mercedes were able to manipulate Red Bull with their ingenious tire strategy.

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What the Dutchman would also need is for some luck to go his way. Mercedes had talked about reliability concerns before pre-season testing began, and Max would definitely hope that the Silver Arrows end up with a few DNFs to help his cause.

Can Verstappen snap Hamilton’s dominion this year? Only time will tell.

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Ronan Carvalho

987 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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