Martin Brundle expected Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen “to rock up at Mercedes”

08-01-2020 10:23
by Bevan Youl
General
Martin Brundle expected Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen “to rock up at Mercedes”

Former Formula 1 driver and Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle has said that he expected one of Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen “to rock up at Mercedes” in 2021 after both agreed contract extensions with Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

The idea of what the 2021 grid will look like is slowly taking place after Ferrari announced in December that Leclerc will be with them until the end of 2024 and Red Bull have maintained Verstappen until 2023.
 
This leaves Mercedes as the only team of the ‘big three’ without a confirmed driver for next year as Lewis Hamilton’s and Valtteri Bottas’ deals come to an end this year.
 
Because of this Brundle questions what the mid-term goals are at the Silver Arrows, believing one of the talented youngsters would have taken the opportunity to drive for them.
 
"The Verstappen news does makes my mind think 'what's going on at Mercedes' short to medium term?" he said to Sky Sports.
 
"I really would have expected one of Verstappen or Leclerc to rock up at Mercedes.
 
“You'd have to look at it and think that Mercedes have got to be at least the equal-best car for another two or three years with the momentum they've got, so why hasn't one of them signed up there?"
 
Hamilton has been linked with a move to Ferrari for 2021 but the Briton has said that he will consider his options carefully for what might be his last contract with Brundle feeling his options are now limited.
 
"It leaves Lewis with reduced options, but he's still holding a lot of aces," Brundle added.
 
"And it doesn't prevent Lewis from going to either of those two teams at all, really.
 
"It possibly would at Red Bull, but it doesn't stop the idea of a Hamilton-Leclerc line-up at Ferrari.
 
"But it has cut Lewis' options down, if indeed he hasn't already signed with Mercedes-Benz longer term.
 
“Maybe the music stopped before Christmas, they all sat down and there is some embedded news we haven't heard yet.”
 
Verstappen’s agreement to a contract came as a surprise to the Briton, believing he would want to see what Red Bull and Honda produced for his 2020 challenge to determine his mind.
 
"But these post-2020 deals have certainly happened earlier than I expected,” said Brundle.
 
“I thought Max would see whether Red Bull could give him a championship-challenging car over the first few races of the year and then take a view.
 
“So something has crystalised that earlier, which again makes my mind wonder about what is going on elsewhere."

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