Max Verstappen is set to be the biggest free agent in Formula One since Lewis Hamilton left McLaren at the end of the 2013 season. Red Bull Racing is reportedly paying the young German around $5M a season, his next contract will be much more. Verstappen is signed with Red Bull through the 2018 season and it is expected a bidding war for his services will ensue between Ferrari and Mercedes.
Wait, How Much Are They Willing To Pay For Him?
Sky Sports is reporting both Ferrari and Mercedes are willing to offer Verstappen $20M a season to pilot their cars. An astronomical amount of money for a driver with currently 2 career wins. Verstappen is on the fast track to being a World Champion. It appears after next season he’ll make it one step closer to that goal.
Verstappen joined Red Bull Racing in round 5 of the 2016 season. He was previously with Scuderia Toro Rosso for a season plus 4 races. His 2016 season with Red Bull was a dream for a young driver. Seven podiums in 17 races with the team is a hell of a start for a teenager in a team that is accustomed to winning World Championships.
Ferrari and Mercedes see the talent Max possesses and are apparently willing to pay for it. The question comes down to who will he partner within these teams. At Mercedes Lewis Hamilton has said he’ll see out his contract but he isn’t sure about his F1 future beyond that. Max could lead the team with Pascal Wherlein or even Valtteri Bottas alongside him. Ferrari has Sebastian Vettel who likely doesn’t want Max to partner him at Ferrari.
We could see Vettel leave Ferrari for Mercedes however. There are a lot of possibilities for the F1 grid in 2019. Mercedes would likely love to have a German driver in their car. If they miss out on Max you can bet they’ll make a push for Vettel if Hamilton decides to call it a career.
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