Former F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has openly stated that top teams like Ferrari and Mercedes will not approach Max Verstappen to race for them because Vettel or Hamilton would veto the move.
Speaking to Nico Rosberg on his podcast, Beyond Victory, Ecclestone said, “I don’t think Ferrari would welcome him with open arms or Mercedes. I don’t think any of the world champions would want to have him in the team.”
He went to suggest that Verstappen had too much ego and that Ferrari and Mercedes already had drivers with that attitude. “Put it this way, you wouldn’t be delighted if you were in a team, forget the word number one but assume you were the top guy in the team,” he said.
“And then someone says ‘the guy who’s going to drive the other car is Verstappen’. That’s a different story. Sebastian wouldn’t want him, Lewis wouldn’t want him.”
And in typical Bernie style, he had this comment to add which reflects what he thinks of Verstappen. “I think he’d have a bigger job getting a seat in a leading team than Fernando [Alonso] has,” he compared hilariously.
This comment comes after reports emerged of a possible exit clause in Verstappen’s Red Bull contract which stated that he could leave the team if the new engine partnership with Honda does not give him desirable results.
Mercedes were said to be highly interested in the Dutchman in the past and had reportedly made two bids for him. Toto Wolff had even claimed that a move may occur in 2021.
However, these latest comments from Ecclestone make a lot of sense as the inflated ego of Verstappen was cited as a reason for Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from the team, though he has denied it.
Ecclestone has largely been away from the media glare after F1 was taken over by Liberty Media but was quite a popular face on the paddock.
This is the second explosive statement from the former chief in as many days. Yesterday, he had stated that Alonso could not be considered a great in F1 because of his poor decision-making.