“You Could See That Happening” – Brown Clarifies Comments on Verstappen/Russell Joining Mercedes F1

Published 03/27/2021, 2:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


There may be major changes at Mercedes F1 next year. With Lewis Hamilton’s future beyond 2021 up in the air, and the fact that Valtteri Bottas hasn’t been able to lock up his seat due to his performances in the last few years, the lineup at Silver Arrows may look very different. In fact, McLaren CEO Zak Brown had even predicted that a Max VerstappenGeorge Russell axis is possible. However, ahead of the season opener in Bahrain, Brown clarified his comments.

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Brown said he had made the statements only in light of the information he had about the duo’s contracts. He cleared the air saying it wasn’t a prediction but rather a matter of opinion. After all, the best team on the grid would certainly want the two best drivers, if possible.

He said, “If those two guys are floating around, depending on what Toto decides with his current driver line-up, you could see that happening. I was asked the question – it wasn’t a prediction, it was an opinion.”

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Formula One F1. Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS.

McLaren CEO explains his opinion about Mercedes F1’s 2022 driver lineup

The American said, “I don’t necessarily think it. Someone just asked me ‘what do you think the driver market will look like next year. I believe George is out of contract and obviously has a Mercedes relationship and did a great job here in Bahrain.

“Max, I’ve never seen his contract but understand that there’s probably a possibility for him to drive elsewhere and Mercedes and Toto are able to attract an awesome driver line-up.”

Formula One F1. Pre-Season Testing. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Only time will tell what lineup the Brackley-based outfit chooses to field next year. It is still entirely possible that if Bottas does well and Lewis wants more trophies, we could see the current lineup racing for the Silver Arrows in the next campaign too.

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However, Mercedes wouldn’t want to look that far into the future. At least not when they have a more important job at hand, i.e. the race in Bahrain. So far, the pre-season preparation hasn’t gone well. Moreover, Russell himself has predicted a tough weekend is in store for his possible future employers.

It’s certainly shaping up to be a great race.

Who are you backing to take the top step in Bahrain? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 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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