Verstappen’s Potential Move to Mercedes: 2026 Emerges as Crucial Year, Says Insider

The rumored turmoil within Red Bull, possibly including Adrian Newey's departure, fuels Mercedes' optimism in luring Verstappen away.

Speculation swirls around Max Verstappen’s potential move from Red Bull to Mercedes, with insiders suggesting 2026 as a pivotal moment.

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes, has openly expressed his desire to enlist Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton’s successor, who is slated to join Ferrari next season.

The rumored turmoil within Red Bull, possibly including Adrian Newey’s departure, fuels Mercedes’ optimism in luring Verstappen away.

F1 technical expert Albert Fabrega, in an interview on the F1 Nation podcast, emphasized Verstappen’s reluctance to leave a winning team.

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“I wouldn’t leave a car that’s winning,” Fabrega asserted, underscoring the strategic chess match unfolding in Formula 1’s driver market.

Verstappen’s current dominance and the promising trajectory of Red Bull’s performance until 2025 deter any immediate move.

However, Fabrega hinted at a potential shift in 2026, echoing uncertainties about Verstappen’s long-term allegiance.

Echoing Fabrega’s sentiments, Tom Clarkson noted Verstappen’s apparent contentment within Red Bull, dismissing immediate departure speculations.

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Clarkson highlighted Verstappen’s own acknowledgment of his improved satisfaction with the team and the car compared to previous seasons.

The looming 2026 F1 regulation overhaul adds another layer of complexity.

Speculation mounts around Adrian Newey’s future, whose departure from Red Bull could significantly alter the landscape.

Newey’s technical prowess has been instrumental in Verstappen’s championship successes, a factor that could sway his decision.

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Mercedes, among others, eyes Newey’s potential availability with great interest, further complicating Verstappen’s future.

Even before Newey’s possible exit, Wolff hinted at “other factors” influencing Verstappen’s decision beyond immediate performance.

The intricate web of technical developments, team dynamics, and regulatory changes shapes Verstappen’s future trajectory, with 2026 poised as a pivotal juncture in his career.