George Russell Predicts Max Verstappen May Leave Red Bull Amid Mercedes Interest

Mercedes driver George Russell has spoken out about the possibility of Max Verstappen joining the Silver Arrows, saying he wouldn’t shy away from the competition.

Verstappen is currently contracted to Red Bull until 2028, but speculation has swirled around his future due to reported internal conflict at the reigning champion team. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has publicly courted the Dutchman, though Verstappen has opted to stay put for now.

Russell believes Verstappen’s desire for the fastest car could lead him to consider a break before committing long-term. “I wouldn’t shy away from jumping alongside Max, nor would I shy away from him jumping in with us,” Russell told the Daily Mail.

“Max can take a year off for 2026 and see which the best team is,” he added, referring to the upcoming regulation changes in Formula 1. “Remember, 2026 is a lottery. So, you truly don’t know what will transpire.”

The young Briton acknowledged his own struggles with Mercedes’ recent decline, but remains focused on his ultimate goal. “I’m a loyal guy and Mercedes have given me the opportunity, but I want to be a world champion,” he said.

Russell also drew inspiration from Verstappen’s own path to the top. “What gives me hope is that Max was in his seventh season when he fought for a title and I’m in my sixth, and I’m 26,” he stated. “Seeing him perform as he is, I see no reason why I can’t go into my 40s. So, I know my time will come. I’m not worried at all.”