George Russell Max Verstappen Mercedes Red Bull
2J9D7WC VERSTAPPEN Max (ned), Red Bull Racing RB18, portrait RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W13, portrait during the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Premio de Espana 2022, 6th round of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, from May 20 to 22, 2022 in Montmelo, Spain – Photo DPPI

Mercedes is a drive short for the upcoming F1 season after seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton signed with Ferrari to cherish his childhood dream. While the Silver Arrows have a year of Hamilton’s services left, they are moving swiftly with replacement options, given the stir in the driver market.

The drivers market is unprecedentedly hyperactive this early into the season. Understandably, Mercedes does not want to lose the best prospects and has reportedly set eyes on reigning F1 champion Red Bull. While a potential move seemed far-fetched a few weeks ago, the former Red Bull driver reignited the conversation with a bold claim.


Max Verstappen Is Apparently Checking Out Mercedes’ 2026 Engine Configuration!

max verstappen red bull toto wolff mercedes
(Photo: Getty)

The 2026 F1 season will witness a major change in power unit regulations, with the sport moving towards sustainability. Therefore, racing teams have begun restructuring partnerships with suppliers. For example, Red Bull will now build their in-house engines in partnership with Ford, whereas Honda signed with Aston Martin. Mercedes, meanwhile, has always been a manufacturing supplier and will continue to develop its homegrown power unit in compliance with new regulations. That being said, the Silver Arrows previously mastered the turbo hybrid engine era a decade ago and are confident of bouncing back in 2026. That promise has planted a seed of intrigue in three-time F1 World Champion Max Verstappen. The Dutchman, who is currently contracted with Red Bull until 2028, is interested in joining Mercedes.

Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport that his reliable sources have confirmed that Max Verstappen is having one-on-one conversations with Mercedes for a potential move as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement in 2025. Verstappen mostly wants to learn in detail about the Silver Arrows power unit plans. Since Max already has some sort of idea of what Ford’s partnership with Red Bull has in store, he perhaps wants to unravel if his rivals are a step ahead. “Something is happening behind the scenes. I think we will have a lot of news in April,” said Doornbos. Notably, Max Verstappen previously rejected a move to Brackley, citing peace with Red Bull. Currently, the drink-based outfit is multiple steps ahead of the rest of the grid. And therefore, the Dutch driver does not have any reason to leave the team in the midst of a dominant run.

Silver Arrows-Carlos Sainz Express Mutual Interest For 2025!

Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Source: Essentially Sports

Italian media is now reporting that Ferrari driver and impending free agent Carlos Sainz has expressed genuine interest in joining Mercedes. However, the talks have reportedly stalled due to the Spaniard’s long-term demands. Apparently, Sainz wants a two-year guarantee contract with an option for a third year.

However, Mercedes intends to keep its options open for 2026 and can only offer Carlos Sainz a 1+1 deal. Notably, the Silver Arrows are largely inclined to unleash teenage beast Kimi Antonelli post-2025. Therefore, they were reluctant to sign Lewis Hamilton long term in the first place, and perhaps they turned down Sainz’s demands citing the same reason.

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