“Max Verstappen has turned down Mercedes,” says Ralf Schumacher

Former F1 driver, Ralf Schumacher stated that Max Verstappen was Mercedes' first-choice driver for next season.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are engaged in a tight championship battle this year, as the duo are separated by just 8 points. The pair collided during the opening lap of the British GP, which ended Verstappen’s race, whereas, Hamilton emerged victorious.

Lewis Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension at Mercedes, which binds him at the Silver Arrows till 2023. However, Ralf Schumacher, former F1 driver, believes that Hamilton was not the first choice driver for Mercedes, and wanted to sign Verstappen.

Hence, Schumacher believes that Max Verstappen rejected a move to Mercedes in favor of staying at Red Bull. “For me, that means above all that Max has turned down Mercedes,” Schumacher told SportBild.

I think there was hope at Mercedes that with Max in the cockpit they could completely realign themselves for the future. That has now died, and then Lewis was the only alternative in my opinion,” he added.

Something is wrong with Mercedes: Ralf Schumacher

Ralf Schumacher believes that Mercedes have the better engine, yet there is something wrong in the car. The former driver believes that Mercedes have been slower on the straights this year, which has costed them several points.

He also believes that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s rivalry will escalate further, and he hopes that none of them would get hurt. “Red Bull still has a lot in its quiver and hasn’t shown everything by a long shot,” he added. Mercedes still has the better engine, but something is wrong with this car. This can also be seen in the fact that they race with a lot of wing in order to have more downforce and are so slow on the straights,” said Schumacher.

The duel will continue to escalate. I hope no one is hurt. Hamilton and Verstappen are slowly reminding me of Senna and Prost, the way they treat each other,” he added.

Also Read: “Lewis Hamilton showed that he is going to take whatever risk necessary,” says Juan Montoya