Max Verstappen will ditch Red Bull for another top team

Max Verstappen secured his second drivers' title with Red Bull at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix

Formula 1 is an ever changing sport, with the driver line-ups often altering from season to season and even the best taking the plunge and moving to a different outfit.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton made a highly controversial move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013 despite doubts of how competitive a car they could produce.

This decision heavily paid off, leading to a period of sustained dominance from the Stevenage-born driver who is now level with Michael Schumacher on the most Drivers’ Championships in the sport’s history.

Max Verstappen now has two world Drivers’ Championships to his name while racing for Red Bull, but if anything can be learned from recent history it is that top drivers often find themselves contributing to the driver market drama at some point in their career. 

If any parallels can be drawn on the current F1 grid, it would be with the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

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Up to this point, Verstappen has had a similar career path to the German with Vettel taking the Red Bull route from Toro Rosso to the senior team and winning multiple World Championships between 2010-2013. 

Vettel however took the decision to move on from his success with the Milton Keynes-based outfit and move to Ferrari as he believed they would be able to give him the best car to keep himself at the pinnacle of the sport, and there are now suggestions that Verstappen could do the same.

The Dutchman’s deal at Red Bull runs until 2028 and despite saying on record that he doesn’t see himself driving for any other team before he retires, it would certainly be against the usual trend if he did not make a move before he closes the curtain on his career.

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“It is great that Verstappen signs such a long-term contract, but there is always the risk that when important people leave the car is no longer performing to the driver’s expectations,” said Finnish legend Mika Hakkinen.

“At that point, a driver will wonder if it is time to switch teams.”

The ‘Flying Finn’, who won two World Championships himself, sees there being too many variables involved to see Verstappen staying with his current outfit.

“I don’t think Max Verstappen will stay with Red Bull for the rest of his career. That’s just my opinion,” he added.

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“Drivers have often switched teams for various reasons, even if they had multiple titles with one specific team.

“That could be financial reasons, or simply because they were ready for a new environment.”

At only 25 years old, Verstappen has time on his side to decide how his career will pan out and he will hope his two titles are just the beginning.