Verstappen could still go to Mercedes in 2022: 'Red Bull realises that

10-02-2021 08:31 | Updated: 10-02-2021 08:59
F1 News
Verstappen could still go to Mercedes in 2022: 'Red Bull realises that

Lewis Hamilton has extended his contract, but of course, you won't hear anything about the possible clauses at the announcement. Robert Doornbos however does not believe in a so-called 'Verstappen clause', but is looking ahead to 2022.

Hamilton has finally landed a new contract for 2021. The seven-time world champion had been negotiating for a long time with Mercedes, which eventually resulted in a new one-year deal. However, there was speculation about a possible veto by Hamilton, which was renamed the Verstappen clause.

The Verstappen clause

''About the Verstappen clause, I don't think so. I think it was more of a financial issue. Daimler wants to save money. The car industry has been hit hard. But that didn't quite work out with Hamilton's salary demands. And Hamilton in his turn will have tried to get three more years out of it and to get the top price for it. Daimler then probably said: 'We are not going to do that, such a long commitment'," Doornbos tells

''INEOS will probably have been prepared to take on part of Hamilton's salary, as they are thus securing the services of a seven-time world champion. As a new shareholder, they will want to ride on the hype around the 'greatest driver of all time'.''

Verstappen to Mercedes

Yet Doornbos does not rule out that Verstappen, who has a contract until 2023 with Red Bull Racing, can make a switch in 2022. With Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes has two drivers with expiring contracts in 2021. Verstappen's situation, however, is tricky.

''Everything depends on the year that Max can have. Mercedes realises that and Red Bull realises that. Max will not go to Ferrari, but Mercedes would of course be an attractive option. Red Bull and Honda will have to pull out all the stops to make sure Verstappen wants to complete his contract'', Doornbos concludes.

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