Wild Verstappen Prediction Made: 'He Will Take 2026 Off'

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 at 22:00
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Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok made a wild prediction about Max Verstappen's future in the Red Bull Racing team.
Max Verstappen has been with the Red Bull family ever since he joined F1. The 26-year-old achieved all the success that he achieved in F1 with the Austrian team.
The most recent period (2022-until now) has so far been his most successful in Formula 1. However, despite all the past and potential future success he could achieve with the team, the Dutchman has been speculated to be considering an exit.
Although he clarified that he currently had no desire to leave and that he's happy with Red Bull as it stands, the rumors around his potential exit just won't stop.
The Dutchman has a contract with the team from Milton Keynes until the end of the 2028 season. Nevertheless, former F1 driver Karun Chandhok predicts he won't stay with the team for so long. He told Sky Sports F1 Podcast:

"It's a really strange market and a really difficult one to read. Increasingly, I think Max [Verstappen] will stay at Red Bull for 2025, I think he will take 2026 off and have a year out, see what happens. And then in 2027, he could go anywhere, couldn't he?"

The Dutchman has been vocal about his plans outside of F1, which include managing his own GT-4 team and racing Le Mans. Chandhok thinks that is precisely what he could do during his one-year break:

"He will go off, and he's talked about having ambitions of doing Le Mans and other forms of racing, so I think he'll do something in 2026, have a year off from F1, see who hits the ground running with the new regs."

"Lewis [Hamilton] would have done his two years at Ferrari, 2025, 2026, he could go to Ferrari in 2027, he could go to Mercedes in 2027, he could go back to Red Bull in 2027. I think that could happen."