While Zak Brown has made it a priority to extend the British driver’s contract long-term, former driver Johnny Herbert agrees with the American and strongly advises his young compatriot against leaving.
“From a driver’s perspective, you’re always trying to find what’s most advantageous for yourself,” Herbert stated. “Now, is the risk of going to Red Bull worth it in his current situation? McLaren is doing very, very well, and they like having him on the team.”
“He performs well when the car is functioning properly. Is it worth the risk? Personally, no, I don’t think it’s worth it. He’s still young and will continue to improve.”
“And right now, McLaren is on a very good trajectory to get into a stronger position for this year. We’ll have to wait and see, of course, but I don’t see why he would want to make his life a bit more difficult when he’s in a very good position at the moment.”
A Hamilton / Verstappen duo would be unmanageable
Asked about the possibility of Lewis Hamilton joining Verstappen, Herbert doesn’t believe it for a second and thinks it would be as difficult to manage for Red Bull as the relationship between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in the late ’80s.
“They both understand that it’s about winning races but, more importantly, a world championship, and they’re both after that. One of them, in particular, wants to clinch his eighth world championship and surpass Michael.”
“But that’s what they both want. The only way to achieve it is to be number one. That’s where the problem lies because when Senna and Prost were competing, their boss Ron Dennis had a lot of trouble controlling the situation.”
“You couldn’t control it, no matter what you tried. Even if you locked them in separate rooms over the weekend, there would still be problems once they put on their helmets and started their race.”
“You would always have those incidents that we saw with both, once at McLaren, and once at McLaren and Ferrari when Alain moved on. I think it’s the same with Lewis and Max; you can’t have these two elite drivers in the same team because you can’t manage them.”
The “slyest” would emerge victorious
Moreover, the winner of three Formula 1 Grand Prix races believes Hamilton would come in defensively, knowing he would be joining Verstappen’s team, and the team would have some obligation to integrate him due to his status as a seven-time champion.
“Lewis would be very aware that Christian and everyone, Helmut Marko and the rest of the team, Jonathan Wheatley, etc, are primarily supporting Max because they know Max will deliver on his promises. Now, can you do that, split that, and make things fair for Lewis Hamilton?”
“A seven-time world champion coming in? It wouldn’t work. I think the drivers know it wouldn’t work. You might think Max would have the advantage because Lewis is going to his team, but I don’t think it could work.”
“It would turn into an unmanageable mess at the ego level. Who would come out victorious? It would simply be whoever is the sliest, I suppose! That’s the only way to make it if it ever were to happen!”
Norris Red Bull Rumor Is It Worth the Risk?. Norris Red Bull Rumor Is It Worth the Risk?
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