Will Max Verstappen copy Lewis Hamilton?

Max Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028.

With seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton having effectively ruled out a move following the end of his current deal with Mercedes, could reigning World Champion Max Verstappen make a similar career choice to his former rival?

Since his karting days, Hamilton has had ties to Mercedes, with the 38-year-old having recently labelled the German manufacturer as “family”.

He’s enjoyed record-breaking success with the Brackley-based team, to the point where he has every intention to see out the remainder of his days at the pinnacle of motorsport with Mercedes.

Hamilton has dismissed any suggestions that he could join Ferrari at the end of the year when his deal expires, with the 103-time race winner having ensured that he will sign a multi-year extension with the Silver Arrows.

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Given that a new deal will likely see him sorted until the end of 2025, most would expect him to then retire from the sport, as he’d then be 40 years old.

Whether 2023 or 2025 is his last season in F1, one thing that is for certain is that he’ll retire as a Mercedes driver.

“I continue to feel very much at home. It’s family. I see myself being with Mercedes till my last days, to be honest,” Hamilton said recently.

“If you look at the legends, Sir Stirling Moss was with Mercedes till the end of days. So, that’s been the dream for me to one day have that… well I have that, so I mean just continue on with that and continue to build with the brand.”

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With Hamilton set to remain loyal to Mercedes for his final days in the sport, could Verstappen remain with Red Bull for the remainder of his.

Similar to how Hamilton was backed by Mercedes since he was a teenager, Verstappen has been supported in a similar fashion by the Austrians since he was young.

When Hamilton made his F1 debut for McLaren in 2007, the team were powered by Mercedes, whilst Verstappen’s debut in 2015 came at Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri).

Hamilton of course, moved from McLaren-Mercedes to Mercedes in 2013, whilst Verstappen moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull early in 2016.

He’s currently contracted to the Milton Keynes-based team until the end of 2028, a year he’s hinted at being his final in the sport.

Verstappen has expressed his intent on doing more with his life other than F1, meaning he could retire following the conclusion of his current deal.

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On the other hand, he could sign a new deal with Red Bull or potentially move to another leading team, with there always being the chance that Red Bull won’t remain as the team to beat.

This is a situation Hamilton’s found himself in after Mercedes were dominant for so long, with the Silver Arrows now being third in the pecking order.

He’s remaining loyal to Mercedes despite their current positioning, though, with the question being whether Verstappen will copy Hamilton and remain loyal to Red Bull for the remainder of his F1 career, even if they fall from the top.