Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is one of the finest drivers on the grid. Many have even claimed that the young Dutchman is at par with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
Speculation has been rife about Verstappen replacing Hamilton at Mercedes when the 36-year-old calls time on his career.
However, Red Bull has invested so much time and effort in nurturing Verstappen that they will not let this happen quite so easily. If nothing else, the team will look to make the team seem as lucrative as possible when they look to offer Verstappen a new contract.
Former F1 champion Damon Hill believes that Red Bull will find it tough to convince Verstappen to stay.
He claimed that the main hindrance to Verstappen with respect to winning world championships is the inferior car he has at his disposal compared to Mercedes.
Although Red Bull has shown considerable improvement this season, it may be tough for the team to compete against Mercedes as it runs its course.
“I think Mercedes will be high on Max’s list as well,” Hill said.
“He’s been very loyal to Red Bull, but if they can’t provide the competitiveness he needs…
“Time is ticking. He was the youngest F1 winner back in 2016, but he hasn’t been able to fight for a championship yet. That will be in his mind.”
Verstappen will be keen to deliver for Red Bull, especially given how much the team has prioritised his development.
Some sort of payback for that, especially a championship win, will surely be high on his agenda.
The fact that Sergio Perez has been recruited this season will also help Verstappen. He may not be a world beater, but Perez can offer Verstappen far more support than he has received in recent years.
Perez will need to ensure he quickly gets up to speed with his new car and in his new surroundings. Without him, the fight at the top could get rather lonely for Verstappen.
Do you believe Verstappen will win his first Formula 1 championship at Red Bull? Is the Mercedes transfer a given? Let us know in the comments section below!