Lewis Hamilton warns Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull for Mercedes ‘wouldn’t make sense’ with the Dutchman’s future in doubt after his father called for Christian Horner to quit

Lewis Hamilton believes a switch to Mercedes ‘wouldn’t make sense’ for Max Verstappen but conceded ‘anything is possible’ in Formula One.

The Dutchman has won the last three world titles with Red Bull but his future is in question after his father Jos told Mail Sport that the title-winning team would ‘explode’ unless Christian Horner stands down as boss.

The 50-year-old was exonerated of charges of ‘coercive behaviour’ towards a female colleague last week, before a leaked email produced evidence purporting to show Horner sending suggestive WhatsApp messages to his colleague.

Verstappen Snr and Horner were involved in a heated argument with Horner in Red Bull’s hospitality area in Bahrain last week.

The former also held talks – and a dinner – with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff during the opening weekend of the season, fuelling speculation his son would consider a move elsewhere if the situation at Red Bull didn’t clear up.

Max Verstappen has been linked with a shock move to Mercedes following a tumultuous couple of weeks at Red Bull


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Max Verstappen has been linked with a shock move to Mercedes following a tumultuous couple of weeks at Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton believes his rival moving to Mercedes would not make sense
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Lewis Hamilton believes his rival moving to Mercedes would not make sense

Jos Verstappen (right) claimed Red Bull will 'explode' if Christian Horner remains at the team
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Jos Verstappen (right) claimed Red Bull will ‘explode’ if Christian Horner remains at the team

With Hamilton set to join Ferrari, a vacancy will be available at Mercedes next season.

But while the Briton was not surprised by rumours linking Verstappen to his seat, he suggested the move would not make sense for his rival.

‘I wouldn’t say I am surprised that he is being considered. He is a great driver,’ Hamilton told reporters in Saudi Arabia, where the second race of the season takes place in Jeddah.

‘And Max in that moment did what he had to do. It was nothing on him. It was the sport that let us down and that wasn’t his fault.

‘If I was in his position I would have done the same thing, so there are no issues there.

‘If you run a team you want the best driver and a driver that brings in the eyeballs and brings in the sponsorship and he is one of those.

‘I understand it but it wouldn’t make sense for him, but it will be interesting to see.’

Hamilton pulled off a shock move of his own last month, when he announced he would leave Mercedes to join Ferrari less than a year after denying talks with the Italian marque over a huge £40million deal.

The seven-time world champion said his split from the Silver Arrows showed nothing can ever be ruled out in Formula One.

‘I think my move has shown that anything is possible, and it’s going to be a really interesting next six months or so. I don’t have any extra scoop,’ he said.

Verstappen has stood by his dad, who suggested the three-time world champion may leave Red Bull if Horner remains in charge
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Verstappen has stood by his dad, who suggested the three-time world champion may leave Red Bull if Horner remains in charge

Horner (here with his wife and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell) fights for his future at Red Bull amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female member of staff
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Horner (here with his wife and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell) fights for his future at Red Bull amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female member of staff

The Red Bull boss insisted it was business as usual as Verstappen won in Bahrain last week
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The Red Bull boss insisted it was business as usual as Verstappen won in Bahrain last week

‘I’m sure Max is on the list. But I’m pretty sure he’s tied up, and I also don’t see why he’d leave a car that is that good!’

Asked of the impact Verstappen Snr’s comments would have on Red Bull, Hamilton said: ‘He is not a part of the team, he is a parent. So that’s just an opinion but it’s definitely not helpful.

‘I think it is a very thin line to walk. […] I think Max is a grown man, he’s a champion and I’m sure he can make his own decisions.’

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