Image source: Mario Renzi/Formula 1/Getty Images
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner thinks Mercedes will target Max Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement. Seven-time world champion Hamilton sign a one-year contract extension, but Mercedes are having to consider life after their star driver, who will be 37 next year.
Horner said: “I am sure should Lewis decide to stop then Max will naturally be the driver at the top of Mercedes’ list. They also have George Russell and other drivers available to them
“The reality is, that yes of course – as there has always been – an element of performance-related clauses to Max’s contract. But as with all these things, it is not about forcing a driver that doesn’t want to be there.
“It is more about relationships than contracts, and you only pull a contract out of the drawer when you have got a problem in my experience. The relationship with Max is very strong, he believes in the project, in what we are doing, and he sees the investment Red Bull is making. I am confident we won’t need to refer to any contractual clauses. It will be down to us to deliver a competitive car.”
Horner was speaking following the announcement that Red Bull will make their own engines from 2022 after agreeing to take over Honda’s F1 operation.