Vettel: No sporting reason for Max Verstappen to leave Red Bull Racing

    Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

    It has generally been a positive start to the 2024 Formula One season for Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, but rumours continue to suggest he could leave the team in the near future.

    Verstappen currently sits atop the Drivers’ Standings after picking up wins in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, despite his DNF in Australia due to a brake issue with his car, and he is still viewed as the odds-on favourite to claim his fourth-consecutive individual World Championship.

    Red Bull themselves also looks poised to land a third-consecutive Constructors’ Championship this year, with a four-point lead over Ferrari in the standings.

    With team and driver off to another strong start, it continues to be a perfect match that should bring plenty more accolades, with the Dutchman currently locked into a long-term contract that is not due to expire until 2028.

    Despite this, rumours and reports continue to emerge that suggests Verstappen could opt out of his deal as early as 2025 and seek a new opportunity elsewhere, with Mercedes-AMG regularly named as top of the list of contenders for his signature should he decide to leave the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

    A man who knows a thing or two about making the difficult decision to leave a winning situation is Sebastian Vettel, who has raced for the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin in his illustrious F1 career.

    It was with Red Bull that Vettel had the most success, winning four consecutive double World Championships between 2010 and 2013, before he ultimately decided to take on a new challenge at Ferrari in 2015, staying with the Scuderia until moving to the Silverstone-based Aston Martin in 2021.

    With Verstappen's future a constant feature in media over recent weeks, the four-time World Champion has weighed in on the situation, speaking in an interview with German sport’s outlet Sport.de.

    Vettel commented: “There is of course a lot of unrest at the moment, but I think from a sporting perspective there is currently no reason for him to think about anything else.”

    With the gulf between Red Bull and Mercedes the largest it has been for many years, with the two sides separated by 71 points in the Constructors' Standings (97 to 26), it would be difficult to imagine Verstappen leaving a winning situation to move to a team still trying to figure things out under the current regulations.

    With regulations set to change in 2026, teams may find themselves in a more level playing field, and at that time it may not be as farfetched to envisage Verstappen suiting up for another team. However, until other teams truly show an ability to compete with Red Bull, the 26-year-old is likely to stay put and add to his trophy cabinet.

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