F1 News

Mercedes miss out on Verstappen: Mercedes probably regrets not promoting Russell

Mercedes miss out on Verstappen: "Mercedes probably regrets not promoting Russell"

13-04-2021 09:05 Last update: 11:31


Max Verstappen has been linked to Mercedes since his arrival in Formula 1. 'What if he drove that car?" people often wonder. However, the Red Bull Racing car is a lot more competitive in 2021, the switch seems a lot less interesting.

In 2015, Verstappen made his debut for Toro Rosso in Formula 1. In 2014 Jos Verstappen had been around the table with Helmut Marko, but also with Toto Wolff. The deal with Red Bull came about because a seat in F1 was possible there, and not with Mercedes. However, due to Mercedes' dominance, the link between the two parties has always been maintained.

Verstappen will now stay

So how would Verstappen fare alongside Lewis Hamilton? That's a question many fans ask themselves, but one they will probably never get an answer to. Mercedes already seem reluctant to have a second pairing (Rosberg and Hamilton), but now it remains to be seen whether Verstappen would want to leave.

''Quite aside from anything else, it’s difficult to see Max’s break clause with Red Bull triggering his availability, with the sort of form the ’21 car showed in Bahrain – and if that level of competitiveness is maintained, why Max would want to change teams. Then there’s the question of why would Mercedes bring such an obviously combative pairing together, which would be pre-loaded with tension, egos and status? I don’t believe it would choose to do so,'' says Mark Hughes at The Race.

Regret at Mercedes

According to Edd Straw, there is some pressure on Mercedes to change their mind. Should Lewis Hamilton decide to leave and Max Verstappen not be available to replace him, Mercedes does not have a driver ready to step into Lewis' shoes.

''Hamilton’s one-season deal means Mercedes probably regrets not promoting Russell this season. This would have allowed the Williams driver a full season to acclimatise and prove whether or not he is ready to step into Hamilton’s shoes in ’22 should the seven-times world champion choose not to continue,'' says the experienced F1 journalist.

''Were Hamilton to walk away then Verstappen would be an obvious target, but while you can never say never in F1 it seems desperately unlikely he could be prised from Red Bull if it sustains its current form. But with a Hamilton/Verstappen combination seemingly completely out of the question, fascinating as it would be, the priority for Mercedes has to be getting Russell into the car as soon as possible,'' Straw concludes.

Video player

More videos