Verstappen Faces Narrow Options Amid Red Bull Turmoil

Despite these challenges and options, Schumacher personally hopes Verstappen stays with Red Bull, "unless the whole thing explodes."

Max Verstappen, a three-time world champion, may find himself with limited options if he chooses to leave Red Bull Racing, as Mercedes appears to be the only viable seat available for the next season.

This situation comes amid internal turmoil within Red Bull, following a cleared investigation into inappropriate behavior by team principal Christian Horner, and a power struggle involving Horner and advisor Helmut Marko, a known ally of Verstappen.

Additionally, the departure of Adrian Newey, the technical mind behind Verstappen’s championship-winning cars, adds to the uncertainty.

Ralf Schumacher, a former F1 driver, commented on the delicate position Verstappen finds himself in. “I think the departures will make him look at the situation a little more calmly.

READ: Max Verstappen Weighs Future at Red Bull Amid Adrian Newey’s Departure

There is nothing worse than too many departures in Formula 1,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. He noted that for Verstappen, “For next year Mercedes is the only option.

“Ferrari is full. Max is not stressed. If he decides to leave the team in 2026, anything is possible.”

The dynamics at Mercedes could offer Verstappen a fresh start, as the team is undergoing changes with Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari.

Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff, who is eager to bring Verstappen on board, emphasized the importance of careful consideration. “There’s always plenty of meetings.

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“I can’t really say about the second driver. I think we’ve talked about the possibilities.

“I want to be fair to these guys and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that,” Wolff stated after the Miami Grand Prix.

He also mentioned being in “observation mode,” influenced by strong performances from other drivers like Carlos Sainz.

READ: Max Verstappen Jokes About Williams’ Spare Chassis Woes

Despite these challenges and options, Schumacher personally hopes Verstappen stays with Red Bull, “unless the whole thing explodes.”

He adds, “Anyone would hold any door open for Max. But I’d rather see him at Red Bull.”

As the situation develops, Verstappen remains the key player in deciding his future, which could significantly impact the F1 driver market.