OCTOBER 20, 2017
Verstappen would prefer to avoid top team switch
Max Verstappen has suggested he would prefer to stay at Red Bull rather than switch to a rival team.
The Dutchman remains under contract until 2019, but rumours he is being wooed by F1's top two teams Mercedes and Ferrari are constant.
Clearly, Red Bull wants the newly 20-year-old to stay, with boss Christian Horner saying the energy drink company is prepared to build the team around him.
"It's nice to hear such words," Verstappen said.
"I've always had good relations with everyone in the team, including with Christian."
But he said all he really wants is a car with which to fight for his first world title.
"I know Red Bull can build a better car, and in the last two races we showed that," said Verstappen.
"But we do not fully control the situation," he added. "The engine still lacks power.
"I hope that in the future the problem will be solved, and then I will have no reason to leave."
Indeed, Verstappen suggested to Algemeen Dagblad newspaper that he would prefer not to switch to Mercedes and Ferrari.
"Lewis is firmly in place at Mercedes and Sebastian at Ferrari," he said.
"I do not want to be like the second driver. I'd rather stop than do that," Verstappen insisted.
"I also do not think they want to have me as a teammate, and two 'number 1's is also difficult, which showed before with Hamilton and Alonso at McLaren," he said.
And so Verstappen's best chance of being the clear 'number 1' appears to be staying at Red Bull.
"Daniel (Ricciardo) is already 28, he wants to win races but who knows what he's going to do. I feel at ease with this team, it's good with everyone as it is and that's very important," Verstappen said.