In the midst of swirling speculation about a potential collaboration between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Red Bull, the reigning world champion has dismissed the notion, expressing concern that pundits might resort to age-related excuses in the event of a head-to-head battle.
The speculation gained traction after Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal, disclosed that Hamilton’s team had inquired about a possible move to Red Bull for the 2024 season. This revelation was made ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where the Formula 1 season would come to a dramatic close.
Horner discussed the links with the Daily Mail prior to the season finale, and later, a Red Bull spokesperson confirmed the reports, revealing that it was Hamilton’s father, Anthony, who initiated contact between the two parties.
Verstappen and Hamilton engaged in one of the most iconic title battles in F1 history in 2021, with the World Championship hanging in the balance until the final lap of the race. Verstappen emerged victorious in controversial circumstances. However, since that intense season, the two drivers have rarely found themselves in direct competition on the track.
In response to the swirling rumors ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Verstappen was quick to dismiss them, stating, “I’m not interested. I didn’t know anything when I was asked about it either. It’s just never going to happen. That scenario doesn’t exist.”
When pressed on whether he would relish the opportunity to prove himself against Hamilton, Verstappen responded with confidence, saying, “What do I have to prove then? I don’t have to prove anything. Then there will always be excuses, like: ‘He’s too old.’ It’s never right. There is always something else to talk about. A fight between two teammates is nice, but much nicer is a fight between multiple teams, with all the good drivers in a different car.”
Verstappen’s comments reflect a determination to avoid potential age-related excuses and a preference for a broader competitive landscape in Formula 1, emphasizing the excitement of battles between different teams and the array of top-notch drivers in varied cars. As the off-season unfolds, fans will undoubtedly keep a close eye on the dynamic developments within the F1 landscape.