Schumacher sees Verstappen moving to Mercedes: ‘There is a good chance’

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Schumacher sees Verstappen moving to Mercedes: 'There is a good chance'

Max Verstappen’s name has been linked to a move to major rival Mercedes for some time and according to former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, the chance that the Dutchman will leave for the German team is quite real. That would be bad news for his nephew Mick Schumacher and the former Williams driver is also aware of that.

In 2014, Toto Wolff and Mercedes had to watch with dismay as Red Bull Racing won the battle for Verstappen. Since then, the three-time world champion has remained loyal to the Red Bull family, but due to the soap opera surrounding Christian Horner and the alleged power struggle within the Austrian team, there seems to have been an excellent opportunity for Mercedes to bring the Dutchman to Brackley. But what are the chances that Verstappen will actually close the Red Bull door behind him?

“The chance is high,” says Schumacher in an exclusive interview with Sport1. ‘Because where else should Verstappen go if he no longer wants to stay at Red Bull? A switch to Ferrari is out of the question, Audi is far from competitive for the time being, so Mercedes remains,” the German reasons. ‘I also believe that Max (Verstappen, ed.), with his natural, honest character, would suit Mercedes very well. It would be perfect for Toto (Wolff, ed.).”

Can Verstappen win straight away in a Mercedes?

If Verstappen permanently switches to Mercedes, what are the chances that he can win immediately? According to Schumacher, that chance is quite small. “Mercedes is currently too far away for that,” thinks the former Formula 1 driver. ‘Wolff often seems resigned during interviews these days. Somehow the Mercedes engineers still haven’t understood the new concept. Even if Max is really, as one suspects, three tenths faster than the rest, that wouldn’t be enough to win at the moment. But it would undoubtedly make everything more exciting,” says Schumacher, who also realizes that the arrival of Verstappen would mean that there is no room for his nephew Mick at Mercedes.

“I can only hope that he at least plays a role in Mercedes’ considerations as Hamilton’s replacement,” said the German. “If Verstappen stays at Red Bull, George Russell’s performance will be crucial. If he is stronger than Hamilton, he is expected to take on a leading role in the team in the future and the second seat could be filled by an emerging talent. With Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli, for example, or with Mick, who has proven that he can do it in the junior classes, but also in several races in Formula 1,” Schumacher speculates.

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