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Verstappen "less inclined" to join Mercedes due to "real crack" in relationship - Marko

Verstappen "less inclined" to join Mercedes due to "real crack" in relationship - Marko

Verstappen "less inclined" to join Mercedes due to "real crack" in relationship - Marko

Verstappen "less inclined" to join Mercedes due to "real crack" in relationship - Marko
GPFans Staff

Max Verstappen is unlikely to entertain any future thoughts of joining Mercedes due to "a real crack" opening up between the driver and team following the events of last season's British Grand Prix.

That is the verdict of Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who feels the Verstappens - including father Jos - were left dismayed by Mercedes' behaviour at Silverstone.

Verstappen had been courted by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff prior to the 24-year-old opting to join forces with Red Bull, since when the pair then always maintained a healthy relationship.

Last July's British GP, however, altered the perspective as Verstappen pulled no punches in condemning Mercedes for showing a lack of respect in celebrating a Lewis Hamilton victory while he was in hospital after the Briton had sent the Dutch driver into a barrier at 150mph following their lap-one collision.

With Verstappen due to start fresh contract talks, despite his current deal running to the end of 2023, Marko does not see his driver now wanting to join Mercedes even if an opportunity should present itself.

Suggested to Marko the possibility of Hamilton quitting could affect the negotiations with Hamilton, speaking to Austrian magazine Autorevue, he replied: "I don't think Max will be gone by then.

"I think the events at Silverstone left a real crack, especially for Jos. I think that makes him less inclined to switch sides."

Verstappen title 'most important in Red Bull history'

Following on from his title triumph, Verstappen has since remarked he would like to remain with Red Bull for "the next 10 to 15 years".

While Verstappen has a bargaining chip in his discussions with Red Bull, the win for the team cannot be underestimated, according to Marko.

Comparing this latest success to the four in a row from 2010 to 2013 with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, Marko said: "We had a superior car back then.

"This success was very important for us. That's why we've been working towards it.

"I said to the English [the team in Milton Keynes] 'We need a winning car if we want to keep Verstappen in the long term'. And the decision was made in mid-2020 that we would invest in this car.

"Breaking that dominance [of Mercedes], which was mainly down to the [Honda] engine, after seven years has had an impact on the whole of Formula 1.

"Viewership and interest have grown rapidly. It's definitely the most important win we've had in Red Bull Racing's history."

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