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Despite rumors circulating about Lewis Hamilton potentially leaving Mercedes to join Red Bull for the upcoming F1 season, the prospect of him becoming Max Verstappen’s teammate has been categorically dismissed.
Red Bull’s F1 advisor, Helmut Marko, firmly stated that the team would never entertain the idea of signing Lewis Hamilton to challenge Max Verstappen. Marko emphasized that the team’s goal is success and championship victories, making it important to maintain a clear driver hierarchy. While the idea of Hamilton and Verstappen teaming up might appeal to fans and media, Marko stressed that having two strong-willed drivers competing for the number one position could disrupt the team’s dynamics and performance.
Marko shared his perspective with Motorsport Magazin, pointing out that the team’s focus is on achieving both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. He acknowledged that while he could envision a scenario with drivers like Lando Norris, the prospect of Hamilton as a teammate raises concerns.
Marko referred to past instances, like the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, where team dynamics were compromised by the presence of two superstar drivers. He emphasized that Red Bull’s team atmosphere and performance should not suffer due to internal competition.
Currently, the idea of replacing Sergio Perez is not at the forefront of Red Bull’s priorities, given their dominant position in F1. Max Verstappen holds a significant lead in the drivers’ standings, and Red Bull has established a substantial lead in the constructors’ table over Mercedes.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has affirmed his commitment to honoring Perez’s contract, despite a recent dip in his performance. However, racing legend Tom Coronel has speculated that Daniel Ricciardo could be considered to replace Perez at the end of the season. Coronel highlighted Ricciardo’s history as Verstappen’s successful teammate and the team’s quest for a strong second driver.
As the F1 season prepares for the Dutch Grand Prix on August 27, where Verstappen aims to extend his winning streak on home turf, the discussions around driver line-ups continue to shape the future of the sport.