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Verstappen: Performance, not money will steer F1 future

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen says "money won't be a differentiator" for his future plans amid persistent advances by Mercedes for the world champion.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Despite a contract that runs until 2028 and a dominant car in the RB20, Verstappen's future at Red Bull was called into question in the wake of the team's power struggles that had been simmering under the surface for a while and boiled over this year.

Verstappen previously said it was key to his Red Bull future that all key pillars of the team remained in place, but one of its most crucial members is now leaving Milton Keynes, with ace designer Adrian Newey announcing he will depart from the F1 team.

It raised fresh questions over Verstappen's plans, who played down the significance of Newey leaving by saying his departure is "not as dramatic as it seems" to the outside world.

But amid wild suggestions of a €150 million per year offer made by Mercedes for the Dutchman's services, Verstappen said performance would be a much more important factor for his future than finances.

When asked if there was any truth to the €150m rumours, he replied: "No. But at the end of the day, even if let's say that would be the case, €150 million.... money is not going to be the differentiator for me to go somewhere.

"I'm happy with what I'm earning already, it's about performance."

Verstappen is the odds-on favourite to secure a fourth straight title in 2024 and if he were to trade Red Bull for Mercedes, who has struggled for performance this season, he would likely be walking away from a potential title in 2025.

"I know myself that if I will be driving for P5 or P6, you get quite grumpy with yourself," he explained.

"So, it's always about performance at the end of the day. I mean, everyone knows that, Toto [Wolff] also knows that.

"My future is within Red Bull at the moment."

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Asked if he felt it was odd that Wolff kept publicly courting him as Lewis Hamilton's potential replacement, he replied: "No, because I think everyone should always be optimistic and hopeful in things.

"But at the moment, I can say that I want to stay with the team because I believe in the project that we have with everyone involved.

"But at the end of the day, in sports but also in life, you don't know what's going to happen in the future."

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