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Verstappen lined up to replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Max replies

Verstappen lined up to replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Max replies

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Verstappen lined up to replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Max replies

Verstappen lined up to replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Max replies

Max Verstappen says he feels "at home" with Red Bull, amid a suggestion he could replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2021.

Hamilton says he remains committed to F1 beyond the end of his Mercedes deal, which expires next year, but the state of the 2021 grid remains uncertain with teams mulling over whether to sign up to F1's new regulations.

If Hamilton were to opt to leave Mercedes in 2021 – he has been routinely linked with a career-ending switch to Ferrari – Verstappen would likely be top of the Silver Arrows' wishlist, with Mercedes having twice before tried to sign the Dutchman: Once before he signed with Red Bull in 2014 and then again in 2017.

Corriere della Sera put it to Verstappen that he might have already agreed a deal with Mercedes to move in the event of Hamilton departing.

"Slippery question!" Verstappen replied.

"I am happy with where I am and I want to win with Red Bull. It is the team that allowed me to enter F1, there is a sense of loyalty to them.

"Here I feel at home. I do not mortgage the future, but today it is like this."

Verstappen has previously said he would prefer not to partner with the likes of Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, having secured team leader status this year at Red Bull following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo to Renault.

The Dutchman and Hamilton have shown signs in recent weeks that a partnership could be fractious, shooting numerous barbs at each other through the media, but Verstappen says there is no lasting issue between them.

"We never quarrelled. We talked to each other, I respect him," Verstappen said. "We are committed to resolving the issues between us, away from prying ears."

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