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Mercedes move ‘wouldn’t make sense’ for Verstappen – Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says a move to Mercedes wouldn’t make sense for Max Verstappen given the dominant car he has at Red Bull, but he still expects the Dutchman to be a target for the team to replace him.

Verstappen has been linked with a potential switch to Mercedes amid the ongoing instability at Red Bull that includes his father Jos calling for team principal Christian Horner to be replaced or risk the team being “torn apart.” Hamilton — who will join Ferrari for 2025 — fully expects Verstappen to be courted by Mercedes, and says their previous rivalry has no impact, but believes current competitiveness makes it unlikely.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, no,” Hamilton said of the speculation about a Verstappen-Mercedes move, “because he’s a great driver. We spoke back then [after the controversial conclusion to the 2021 championship battle], I think Max in that moment did what he had to do — there was nothing on him, it was the sport that let us down. I think that wasn’t his fault. Me in his position, I would have done exactly the same thing, so there’s no issue there.

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“But I think if you run a team, you want to have the best driver in — you want, as a team, the driver that brings in the eyeballs, brings in the sponsorships and he is one of those, so I understand it. It wouldn’t make sense for him, but it will be interesting to see.”

Hamilton points to his own switch to Ferrari as evidence that a Verstappen move to Mercedes cannot be ruled out, and says he’s looking forward to watching the driver market play out this year.

“I think my move has shown that anything is possible, and it’s going to be a really interesting next six months or so. I don’t have any extra scoop. I’m sure Max is on the list. But I’m pretty sure he’s tied up, and I also don’t see why he’d leave a car that is that good!”