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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Verstappen rumors will not influence the Mercedes 2020 alignment talks

Verstappen rumors will not influence the Mercedes 2020 alignment talks

The head of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, insists that Red Bull is worried that he may lose Max Verstappen next year, will not change the focus of his team to choose his line of pilots for 2020.
Red Bull Motor Sports Advisor Helmut Marko told the German Auto Motor Sport Und in Austria that he was concerned that Verstappen could walk because it is said that the team has not yet achieved the performance goal it needs to guarantee that the Dutchman stays for next year.

Although details of the performance clause have not been disclosed, there have been several suggestions that require Red Bull to win a race before the summer break or to be second in the constructors' championship at that stage of the campaign.

But if the possibility of having it, Verstappen in the market is probably of interest to Mercedes, who have not yet decided on the teammate of Lewis Hamilton, Wolff says he will not change plans due to the situation of Red Bull.

It is also clear, despite Red Bull's suggestions of repeated contact with Verstappen, that he has not spoken to the young driver.

"I do not know anything about it," Wolff said when Motorsport.com asked him whether he saw Verstappen's situation or not as an opportunity for Mercedes.

"I have not talked to Max, to make it clear here, and I would like to continue as we have always done in the past.

"First, we have a controller, what is it, is there a real discussion with someone else, and that is true for any driver who is out there?

"But we have exciting junior drivers who deserve to be in F1. Esteban [Ocon] was the one who fell off the chairs last year and putting all that enigma in his place is something I would like to do in the coming months during the summer."

While the issue of the Verstappen exit clause appeared earlier this year, the Dutchman has made it clear repeatedly that he is committed to moving things forward with Red Bull.

When asked about Mercedes rumors in Austria, Verstappen said: "I think there are people who know more than me."

Hamilton added that he had not heard anything about Verstappen being on the move, but he would have no problem facing him on the same team.

"People are always inventing things," explained the world champion as he sat next to the Dutchman. "It's the first time I've heard it, I think the team is quite happy with Valtteri and me.

"Then I know that Max is definitely interested in opportunities that I do not know, maybe If there are, then I do not mind driving with you, I will lead against whoever."