Verstappen "focused on myself" amid early Mercedes 2022 F1 links

Max Verstappen claims he is not paying much attention to speculation linking him to Mercedes' Formula 1 squad for 2022 if Lewis Hamilton quits, saying he remains "focused on myself"

Verstappen "focused on myself" amid early Mercedes 2022 F1 links

Mercedes announced earlier this month that seven-time world champion Hamilton had signed a one-year contract extension to cover the 2021 season.

It led to speculation about what Hamilton's future could hold after this year, and whether Red Bull driver Verstappen might be a potential replacement if the British driver quit.

Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner expected Verstappen to be "top of the list" for Mercedes in the event that Hamilton left, but expressed his confidence that the team's relationship with the Dutchman was "very strong".

Following the launch of Red Bull's new car for the 2021 season, the RB16B, Verstappen downplayed the suggestions and stressed his focus only lay on the upcoming campaign.

"At the end of the day, I don't know what Lewis is going to do," Verstappen said when asked if he had an eye on Hamilton's future.

PLUS: What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

"But I just focus on myself, and I'm very focused on this year and trying to make it a success.

"It's still early in the season, with only basically a shakedown [complete], so those kind of things, I'm not really thinking about at this stage."

Verstappen's existing Red Bull contract lasts until the end of the 2023 season, but Horner confirmed earlier this month that there was an escape clause relating to the team's performance.

Red Bull recently announced that it would be taking on Honda's power units following the Japanese manufacturer's exit at the end of 2021, forming Red Bull Powertrains.

The deal means Red Bull will operate its own power units in-house from 2022-2024, and could lead to it developing an all-new power unit when the next generation design is introduced in 2025.

But Verstappen said the Red Bull Powertrains deal "doesn't change anything for me".

"It's exciting, but at the same time, I'm also not too focused on it at the moment," Verstappen said.

"We are living in the moment, trying to have a good season first of all this year, and the smart people in the background will handle those kind of things with the engine."

shares
comments
Alonso to miss launch event for Alpine's 2021 F1 car
Previous article

Alonso to miss launch event for Alpine's 2021 F1 car

Next article

How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact

How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best Plus

The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best

GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV pays a visit to designer Jens Munser, to observe the production of Mick Schumacher’s special helmet for the Miami Grand Prix. What follows is some fascinating insight on the mindsets of Mick’s dad Michael, and family friend Sebastian Vettel

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2022