Max Verstappen committing his future to Red Bull may be the first sign that the hotly anticipated driver transfer market may not be as exciting as we had imagined, but it is good news. Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Charles Leclerc at Ferrari and Verstappen at Red Bull - the title races going forward could be epic!
In the final season of the current regulations, it is expected that the field will continue to bunch closer together. Red Bull and Ferrari were closer to Mercedes in 2019 than in previous years and it would be a shock if the gap didn't close further in 2020.
However, looking beyond this year - what a potential treat there is in prospect.
Regulation changes always shuffle the order. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. But look right the way down the grid and most teams will have at least one driver capable of fighting for a world championship title.
Obviously, those drivers already mentioned are the main protagonists but, should Hamilton opt for a switch to Ferrari, this wouldn't come close to ruining things. I firmly believe that, should this move happen, George Russell would be promoted to Mercedes. With Esteban Ocon moving to Renault, the door has been opened for Russell and this would be the opportunity for the British driver to show the skills that saw him match Leclerc in winning the GP3 and Formula 2 championships back to back.
The one name conspicuous in their absence in that list is Sebastian Vettel. This is because, and this is only my opinion, I think that he will quit the sport at the end of 2020.
A regulation change makes this a logical move and, with the persistent 'Hamilton to Ferrari' rumours and Leclerc already signed on a long-term deal, the could be no seat at the Scuderia for him.
Mercedes, as I say, have Russell to replace Hamilton, and the German will not fancy a move lower down the order. Red Bull, on a short-term deal if Alex Albon fails to impress in 2020, is an option, but not a likely one.
In conclusion, Verstappen remaining at Red Bull and a none-too silly 'Silly Season' would be good for the long-term future of Formula One. All that's needed now are ten super quick cars and the competition can begin.
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