Verstappen not ruling out Ferrari, Mercedes switch

Max Verstappen is not ruling out a future switch to top teams Ferrari or Mercedes.

Amid obvious frustration with the performance and reliability of his Red Bull this year, speculation has suggested the young Dutchman is looking for a way out of his 2018-2019 contract.

When asked about the Ferrari rumour in particular, 19-year-old Verstappen told Germany's Sport Bild: "I know Ferrari has a great story in formula one.

"It's the same for Mercedes, by the way," he admitted. "Quite honestly, I only want to sit in the best possible car. The colour doesn't really matter."

However, he acknowledged that he is still firmly committed to Red Bull for now.

"I believe in the strength of Red Bull," said Verstappen. "We're on the right track. The car and the engine are constantly improving."

Verstappen is admired not only for his speed but also his daring and aggression wheel-to-wheel, even though he is regularly criticised by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

"They can call me what they want," Max insisted, referring to his critics. "'Mad Max' or whatever.

"I say that on the track you have to be an assh*le. Look at Michael Schumacher! At the end of the day, a F1 driver needs to know how to win races and titles, not how to be a nice guy."

As for Vettel in particular, Verstappen said: "I do not expect him to send me a Christmas card or invite me to his birthday."

And he said he has a bigger challenge to worry about than Vettel, anyway.

"Daniel (Ricciardo) is a bigger challenge for me," Max insisted. "When the two of them drove for the same team in 2014, Daniel was stronger."

(GMM)

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