Verstappen's Future at Stake After Miami GP

Mercedes F1 and Verstappen: Negotiations to open after Miami


Post-Miami, Verstappen’s future hangs in balance as negotiations with Mercedes intensify. The move could redefine his career and Red Bull’s status in Formula 1.

We mentioned this two weeks ago, with an existing pre-agreement, but things will move faster once F1 returns to Europe: the Verstappen camp will indeed consider a move to Mercedes F1 after the Miami Grand Prix, with a high-level meeting planned.

Verstappen's Future at Stake After Miami GP

Things are clearly accelerating behind the scenes, following rumors of Adrian Newey’s departure. According to sources close to Verstappen and Mercedes F1 in Germany and the Netherlands, a top-level meeting will take place between the Verstappen camp (Max, Jos, and Raymond Vermeulen, the manager) and the three shareholders of the Mercedes F1 team: Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes, Ola Källenius, and James Ratcliffe (Ineos).

This meeting will occur before Imola and might even include Dr. Helmut Marko. The Austrian indeed holds the key to the transfer: if he leaves the Red Bull team, a clause he himself added to Verstappen’s contract would allow the Dutchman to leave the team at the end of the current season.

As Newey might also leave Red Bull, probably for Ferrari (though a move to Mercedes F1, Aston Martin, or retirement are not ruled out), Red Bull Racing’s appeal for 2026 is plummeting.

Red Bull Racing, without its brilliant designer, must also tackle the new regulations with an entirely new engine, designed in-house with Ford, which is not an expert in hybridization in motorsports. This creates many uncertainties, all in an atmosphere described as toxic with Christian Horner reportedly having all the power.

Against this backdrop, Mercedes F1 is rolling out the red carpet for Verstappen. Salary will obviously not be an issue, the challenge remains to convince him of the measures being put in place for the German team to regain its pre-2022 competitiveness. Its engine-manufacturing prowess speaks for itself, though its skills in this ground effect era are less convincing, even though all aerodynamics will be revamped in 2026.

Verstappen could bring along some key technicians from Red Bull (who would therefore resign promptly to comply with a notice period suitable for working on the 2026 single-seater), so that 2025 would be a strong preparation year. Helmut Marko might also join the journey!

According to journalist Ralf Bach, the internal environment is already favorable. Mercedes group employees were polled via the intranet, and over 90 percent of those interested in racing want Verstappen to drive the future W16 and W17 instead of Lewis Hamilton, who will move to Ferrari.

Verstappen's Future at Stake After Miami GP

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