Lewis Hamilton asked if 2021 title fallout would stop Max Verstappen Mercedes move

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes would sign Max Verstappen, despite the fallout from the controversial end to the 2021 F1 title battle.

(L to R): second placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the podium with race winner and World Champion Max
(L to R): second placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the podium…

Lewis Hamilton does not believe the toxicity surrounding the 2021 F1 title finale would stop Mercedes from attempting to sign Max Verstappen.

Hamilton and Verstappen engaged in a fierce, season-long title battle throughout 2021 which came to a head in highly controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Despite the animosity from the event, which still angers Mercedes boss Toto Wolff today, seven-time world champion Hamilton does not think it would rule out Verstappen from ever driving for the Silver Arrows.

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Christian Horner, speculation has been rife that Verstappen might leave Red Bull and join Mercedes, who have a free seat for 2025 following Hamilton’s shock decision to join Ferrari.

Ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton did little to quash the rumours, suggesting that Verstappen is “on the list” of drivers Mercedes will be considering as his replacement.

Hamilton did however add that such a move wouldn’t make sense for Verstappen, given the Dutchman currently finds himself in a dominant F1 car.

"I wouldn't say I'm surprised, because he's a great driver,” Hamilton said. “I think even we spoke back then. Max in that moment, he did what he had to do, it was nothing on him, it was the sport that let us down.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 leads Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B on the final lap of the
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 leads Max Verstappen (NLD) Red…

“And I think that wasn't his fault. Me, in his position, I would have done exactly the same thing. So there's no issues there.

“I think if you run a team, you want to have the best driver, and you want to be the team that's got the driver that brings in the eyeballs, brings the sponsorships, and he is one of those.

“So I understand it, but it wouldn't make sense, I would say, for him. But it'll be interesting to see."

Hamilton was also asked if he would take advantage of the discontent at Red Bull by trying to lure design legend Adrian Newey over to Ferrari.

“In terms of Adrian, having worked within the team, I know obviously Adrian gets all the praise for everybody's work,” the 39-year-old responded.

“I know he's a huge part of it, of course. But I know there are so many engineers in the background who are a huge part of developing the team and the car that they have. It's not down to one person.

"It's not my decision. But I'm competing against him this year at the moment, so I can't really talk about next year just yet.”

Read More