MARCH 28, 2016
Verstappen can be free agent for 2017?
Just as details of Max Verstappen's Red Bull deal emerge, the Dutchman has thrown some praise in the direction of Ferrari number 1 Sebastian Vettel.
Writing for the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport, Luigi Perna suggested that a clause in the 18-year-old's current contract means he would be free to switch to another camp for 2017 unless he is promoted from Toro Rosso to the senior team.
"Will the Cavallino (Ferrari) finally take a risk with a young driver or renew for a fourth year with Kimi Raikkonen, pleasing Vettel?" Perna wondered.
But in a move that might be interpreted as a winking eye to Ferrari, Verstappen told La Gazzetta that, of his F1 rivals so far, he is the most impressed with German Vettel.
"Drivers that are comfortable with their team and know how to motivate them always stick out to me," he said. "Vettel is a great example of that. I think that spirit is the most important thing for a driver."
Tellingly, Verstappen was also asked if he sees anything to emulate in his Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz.
"Nothing, to be honest," said the young Dutchman, just a week after their rivalry hit a high note with Verstappen's obvious anger in Melbourne.