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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Verstappen stays at Crimson Bull, however why did not he simply say it the primary time?

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It was a one-word reply that subsequently killed off any lingering doubt – if there was any – about the place he can be driving subsequent season.

It took many makes an attempt to extrapolate the reply however we obtained there in the long run.
Max Verstappen says he’s staying put at Crimson Bull for subsequent season.

In doing so, he subtle the potential powder keg at Crimson Bull forward of their residence race on the Austrian Grand Prix, the place there may be anticipated to be one other present of help for the race group from the vitality drink bosses.

But it was the way by which Verstappen delivered the information, which admittedly many anticipated, which was perplexing. A hesitancy to reply the query, however why?

For almost 4 months questions have been raised about his future within the group after his father’s explosive outburst in direction of group principal Christian Horner within the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

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Jos Verstappen claimed the group can be “torn aside” ought to Horner be allowed to stay in his put up including that his son may very well be pressured to stop the all-conquering group, regardless of having a long-term contract.

What adopted was a bumpy few weeks for the reigning F1 world champion as he was requested if he would keep or not however we now seem to have reached a conclusion.

Christian Horner, Workforce Principal, Crimson Bull Racing with Jos Verstappen

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It comes at a time of peace – for the meantime not less than – between Horner, Crimson Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko and Verstappen’s father, who by the way is within the paddock this weekend after lacking a number of races this season.

There was hypothesis that the rumbling uncertainty over his future, which was reignited final weekend with feedback from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, might spark one other battle with the Crimson Bull hierarchy.

Wolff had mentioned on the Spanish Grand Prix that there have been “no talks which can be going down at this stage” though confusingly, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius had informed Sky Germany that there was “a possibility” to signal Verstappen, including the Dutchman “would look good in silver”.

Verstappen was requested on the Crimson Bull Ring about his future and whether or not he noticed it with the world champions.

He danced across the topic attempting to elude what required a easy, straight reply.

“I feel I’ve mentioned this earlier than,” Verstappen replied. “I imply naturally in fact individuals are speaking, but it surely’s most vital simply that we have now a really aggressive automotive for the longer term.

“In the intervening time in fact it’s totally tight, however we’re working very effectively as a group to try to enhance extra.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“And for certain, I mentioned this already with the group, we’re working and specializing in subsequent yr to try to be aggressive once more.”

An additional query, this time whether or not he would think about quitting Crimson Bull given the actual fact McLaren had usurped his group and are mentioned to now have the quickest automotive.

“I do not assume that is how Formulation 1 works — the place then instantly you may say, ‘effectively, bye guys’. It is not the way it works,” Verstappen mentioned considerably churlishly.

“I’ve a protracted contract with the group, I am very comfortable the place I am at and, like I mentioned earlier than, we’re focussing additionally already on subsequent yr with issues we will implement on the automotive.

“So, I suppose that ought to say sufficient of the place I am driving subsequent yr.”

It took one third and ultimate try. Asking for a transparent ‘sure or no’ solutions as to if he can be driving for the group subsequent season.

He was nonetheless intentionally mischievous, saying, “You did not get that out of my reply earlier than?”

He was pressed a second time and at last mentioned it. “Sure,” including “and that is what I mentioned…” solely he hadn’t achieved so.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing, 1st place, celebrates in Parc Ferme

Photograph by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

His reluctance to reply the query is puzzling, to say the least, however might replicate the troublesome place he finds himself in.

Torn between two sides, he has walked a tightrope of diplomacy by being noncommittal.

Understandably, given their paternal bond, he has supported his father’s stance on the group battle but in addition managed to restore his relationship with Horner, who naturally desires to maintain his star driver.

In not answering the query, he was in a position to hold each events comfortable and possibly search to guarantee them in non-public.

Perhaps it’s all a part of a recreation to maintain Mercedes on the road?

In spite of everything, an in-demand driver has bargaining energy throughout the paddock and their consideration might show advantageous from a business perspective.

Perhaps he’s simply not so apt at saying no to Wolff. Not risking to burn bridges sooner or later, and having already put his nostril out of joint as soon as earlier than by becoming a member of Crimson Bull’s driver programme somewhat than Mercedes.

Verstappen has listened to Wolff’s proposals for the longer term, specifically 2026 and he desires to maintain his choices open.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team at the Press Conference

Toto Wolff, Workforce Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG F1 Workforce on the Press Convention

Photograph by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

One other aspect might maybe be that he’s being intentionally obtuse to permit himself some wriggle room if certainly the Crimson Bull energy wrestle did rear its ugly head as soon as extra.

By not committing, he would afford himself some leverage if he wished to chop ties from his contract and search a brand new group for subsequent season.
Regardless of the purpose for his failure to return out and say it, clear as a bell, is essentially mysterious.

In the meanwhile then, he is staying put and Crimson Bull can breathe a sigh of aid. Properly, till the following time he’s requested about quitting the group and refuses to reply the query.

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