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Red Bull: Will there be a sensational change from Max Verstappen?

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Red Bull: Will there be a sensational change from Max Verstappen?

Formel 1 Red-Bull-Zoff

Will there be a sensational change from Verstappen?

As of: 4:45 p.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

Escalation at Red Bull – “It will explode”

Max Verstappen takes off for another year of solo flight and secures his first win of the season. After the race, his father Jos Verstappen caused an escalation in the affair surrounding Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

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The power struggle at Red Bull over the Christian Horner affair could lead to the next transfer hammer in Formula 1. There is speculation as to whether world champion Max Verstappen will move to Mercedes. Alonso could also play a role.

The toxic power struggle at Red Bull Racing could deliver the next landslide blow to the Formula 1 driver market. After his father’s frontal attack on the team boss, there is now wild speculation as to whether Max Verstappen could possibly move to Mercedes after this season. All that’s missing is that Fernando Alonso gets involved in a world championship castling – then all three champions currently represented in Formula 1 would drive for new teams in 2025.

“Everything is possible,” replied Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff in Bahrain when asked about a possible move for Verstappen to the German factory racing team. Anything is possible, which is generally true in the premier class of motorsport.

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How realistic is a move from Verstappen to Mercedes?

The fact is that Verstappen has a contract until the end of 2028. It is not known what clauses there are in terms of being able to leave the team before then. Lewis Hamilton, whose place at Mercedes will become vacant after this season, is making use of an option in his contract: he will drive for Ferrari next year and his cockpit will have to be filled. If a driver like Verstappen were available, Mercedes would have to think about it. Anything else would be negligent.

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The fact that Wolff and Verstappen’s father Jos chatted in the paddock in Bahrain at the weekend further fueled the rumors. “More and more evidence suggests that the sensational transfer could occur,” even wrote the specialist magazine “auto, motor und sport”.

Why might Verstappen want to leave the team?

… a team whose car is not unlikely to win the title this year and also in 2025?

Because further collaboration if Horner remains as team boss can only be imagined with a lot of imagination. Father Jos Verstappen’s publicly formulated demand that Horner have to vacate the post because the team was in danger of exploding was the most violent escalation of a conflict in the world champion team that has obviously been simmering for a long time.

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Bahrain Grand Prix

Even though Max Verstappen has already won the title three times under Horner’s leadership and has become the current outstanding driver in the racing series, first of all, he is very, very close to his father Jos. “He prepared me in a very professional way from a young age so that I would be ready for all kinds of scenarios,” Max once said of his father. He also congratulated him on his 52nd birthday on Monday via Instagram: A picture shows both of them in Red Bull racing clothes.

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Secondly, together the Verstappens are close to Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko. The 80-year-old was a close confidante of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who died in October 2022. Horner is said to have tried to force Marko out of his sphere of influence last year.

What is at stake for Red Bull?

Very much. “No team on this planet would want to do without the services of the driver who even gilds the incomparable car of the best designer in Formula 1 history, Adrian Newey,” wrote the Daily Mail about Verstappen on Monday. The successful racing team is practically the showpiece in the sports portfolio of the Austrian beverage company, which Oliver Mintzlaff is responsible for as one of three managing directors after Mateschitz’s death.

The decisive factor in the matter, however, is the company’s majority: 51 percent belong to the family of the Thai billionaire Chalerm Yoovidhya – and he is said to be Horner’s advocate.

The matter surrounding the team boss, who was accused of inappropriate behavior by an employee – the complaint was dismissed by the parent company after an external investigation by an independent lawyer – is currently overshadowing the sporting successes. If Max Verstappen were to leave, it would be a major defeat for the company, even if a driver like Fernando Alonso could then move to Red Bull. The two-time champion’s contract with Aston Martin expires after this season.

What happens between now and the race in Saudi Arabia?

Already on Wednesday – due to the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan from Sunday, the program in Jeddah was brought forward by one day – drivers and team bosses are expected in the paddock for media rounds and press conferences. Nobody knows if and what could happen by then. Only one thing is certain: peace will not return to Red Bull Racing.

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