April 15, 2024

Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko has said it is expected that Mercedes would contact Max Verstappen to replace Lewis Hamilton.

Last month, it was confirmed that Hamilton will leave Mercedes for Ferrari ahead of the 2025 season.

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion is set to partner Charles Leclerc for the Italian team.

Since the news was confirmed, all the attention has been focused on who Mercedes could replace Hamilton with.

The likes of Alexander Albon, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri have all been linked with the soon-to-be vacant seat.

Despite being tied down with a long-term contract at Red Bull, Marko was asked about Mercedes potentially trying to lure Verstappen away.

Max Verstappen: F1 – Red Bull Athlete Profile

As reported by Austrian news outlet Kronen Zeitung, the 80-year-old said: “I would be surprised if they hadn’t.

“But Max is a very loyal driver.”

Speaking about Hamilton, Marko said: “Lewis is an exceptional driver.

“If they give him a car that is capable of winning [races] or even a World Championship, they will have to involve him until the end – and so just jump over their shadow.”

On Saturday, Verstappen eased to victory in the season opener in Bahrain after finishing ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff discuss his future at Mercedes in Netflix’s Drive to Survive
Credit- Netflix, Drive to Survive

Last season, the Dutchman won 19 out of 22 races in what was a truly dominant display.

When asked if Verstappen can repeat the same results this year, Marko added: “There are also route-specific parameters. If you don’t get pole in Monaco or Singapore, it will be difficult to win.

“That’s not our goal, of course we want to get close to this dream result, but the competition has gotten closer. Our goal is the championship.”

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