Mercedes 'Should' Also Consider Verstappen As Hamilton Replacement Says Danner

F1
by Adam OndrikSunday, 11 February 2024 at 20:00
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Former F1 driver Christian Danner suggested Mercedes should consider the triple World Champion Max Verstappen for their seat starting from the 2025 season.
Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes for Ferrari causes Toto Wolff a headache in the short term. However, it also creates an opportunity for the team principal to search for some talented drivers who could take his place.
As one of the fastest and most lucrative teams on the grid, Mercedes has quite a few drivers to pick from. names of drivers like Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, and Mick Schumacher have been mentioned.
But also, World Champions like Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel might be in the mix. One driver who almost nobody talks about is Max Verstappen.
There are many reasons why Verstappen wouldn't go to Mercedes, but former F1 driver Christian Danner asserted the German team should consider him. As quoted by Gpblog, he said:

"The only important thing is whether the driver is a reinforcement. There should be no legal or financial obstacles. Age is also completely irrelevant, contracts idem. Any driver who is at the level of Mercedes should be included. That's why they should also think about Max Verstappen."

The Dutchman's qualities are unquestionable at this point after achieving his third consecutive Championship title and breaking many incredible records.
It is the goal of every single team to get the best driver possible, and when Hamilton leaves Mercedes, there are not many options in F1 that could replace him as the 26-year-old could.

Why wouldn't Verstappen go to Mercedes?

Reasons include the huge rivalry, his loyalty to Red Bull, his contract, and his competitive car. First of all, Verstappen is the sole reason why Mercedes and Hamilton didn't get their eighth Championship.
However, that might be something that gets forgotten quite quickly when a prospect of collaboration that is in mutual interest arises.
In terms of loyalty, that isn't something that many F1 drivers look at. Everyone thought Hamilton would stay with Mercedes until he retired, and now he made the decision to leave the team. The same might apply to Verstappen.
The Dutchman is currently contracted to Red Bull until at least the end of the season 2028. However, to use Hamilton's example again, there might be loopholes and various clauses in the 26-year-old's contract that we don't know about, which would allow him to leave the team.
Lastly, probably the biggest persuading factor that anyone could offer to Verstappen is the fastest car. Although we shouldn't jump the gun, Mercedes will most probably not have the fastest car in 2025.
However, 2026 and the new regulations might be a different case. Suddenly, it doesn't seem so impossible for Verstappen to potentially join Silver Arrows in the future.
It is still more likely he won't, but everything seems possible after Hamilton's shocking move to Ferrari. Could you imagine the Dutchman in the German team?