Max Verstappen has said “it would never work” to drive on the same team as rival Lewis Hamilton. The three-time F1 world champion made the comments after Red Bull’s principal Christian Horner claimed Hamilton had approached his team over a potential move earlier this year. This allegation has been denied by Hamilton, who accused Horner of “stirring things”.
Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has addressed rumours that Lewis Hamilton approached Red Bull over a potential move, asserting the partnership “would never work.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told the Daily Mail that a representative from Hamilton’s team had enquired about a move earlier this year.
Hamilton, who currently drives for Mercedes, denied the claims, accusing Horner of “stirring things”.
In an interview with The Telegraph before this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen shared his thoughts on being in the same team as Hamilton.
“It would never work anyway,” he said. “For sure we would be trying to beat each other.
“But I think it’s also good to have us in different teams. For me, the important thing is that our rivals make sure they’re competitive enough to battle it out.
“Because otherwise it doesn’t matter who you put next to each other, there is only one car winning the championship again. And that’s not what you want as a fan.”
Hamilton had said he would be “more than happy” to race against Verstappen in the same team, but would rather return to winning ways with Mercedes.
The last time he came close was the dramatic end-of-season race in Abu Dhabi in 2021. But, since then, Hamilton has fallen by the wayside as Verstappen won three F1 drivers’ championships in a row. This year’s title was sealed last month, resulting in noticeable fans participation in PA Sportsbook.
The reigning champion said he was not concerned by the lack of competition since 2021.
“I mean, yeah, of course it would be great for the sport [to have a closer title fight],” Verstappen said. “I can understand that. But at the end of the day, I also think about myself, and I want to win more.
“Once you’re in that position of dominance, you just want to try to win more. That’s the truth. And that’s how it’s been in the past as well with other teams when they have had the upper hand.
“So it would be a bit unfair to say, now that I’m winning, ‘Oh, it’s fair for the sport if it’s all equal’, you know what I mean? I’ve also been in that position where, you know, I wanted to win, but we couldn’t. We just needed to work harder and try to be better.”
Verstappen was also vocal about the recent Grand Prix in Las Vegas, calling it “99% show and 1% sporting event” before the race took place.
He doubled down on the criticism, saying: “We are at a tipping point. In terms of circuits, for me real tracks are always more fun to drive.
“People can say what they want about street circuits. But at the end of the day, that’s not where a Formula 1 car belongs.
“I’ve told Stefano [Domenicali, F1 CEO]. I think it’s very important that drivers speak to them about keeping the real racing in. And that it’s not all about the outside show. We need to focus on the sport itself.”
The 26-year-old even said he would retire sooner rather than later if there were too many tweaks made to the traditional race calendar.
“Definitely,” he said. “There’s so many more things out there anyway. You know, it’s not only about Formula 1 in life. There will be a day where you wake up and maybe you’re like, ‘I want to do something else.'”