Verstappen cancelled Mercedes: 'Hamilton wasn't first choice'

22-07-2021 10:57 | Updated: 23-07-2021 10:42
F1 News
Verstappen cancelled Mercedes: 'Hamilton wasn't first choice'

Mercedes has managed to secure Lewis Hamilton for a longer period of time, but the extension of the seven-time world champion was not a foregone conclusion according to Ralf Schumacher. He argues that Max Verstappen was Mercedes' first choice.

Hamilton has extended his contract until 2023, with which he hopes to continue his successful period with Mercedes. The Briton has already won six titles with Mercedes, equalling Michael Schumacher who also won seven world titles. According to Ralf Schumacher extending Hamilton's contract was not option one for Mercedes.

Verstappen cancelled Mercedes

''For me, that extension mainly means that Max has turned down Mercedes. I think Mercedes had put all their hopes on capturing Max for that cockpit, in order to fully secure their future. That idea is now gone, and in my eyes Lewis was the only alternative,'' Schumacher told Sport Bild.

''Now I'm curious if Mercedes can turn it around, because Red Bull still has a lot behind them, and certainly hasn't shown everything yet. It will really come down to a duel between Hamilton and Verstappen. I hope nobody gets hurt. Hamilton and Verstappen remind me more and more of Senna and Prost, the way they treated each other," concludes the German.

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