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Max Verstappen has made his final decision on his F1 future amid Mercedes links

Max Verstappen has made his final decision on his F1 future amid Mercedes links

Verstappen has made up his mind.

Max Verstappen has made a final decision on his F1 future amid links to becoming Lewis Hamilton's replacement at Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows are on the lookout for a new driver for 2025, with Lewis Hamilton leaving the team to join Ferrari.

Their search had seemingly taken them towards Verstappen, who has won the past three Drivers' Championships and is widely expected to win a fourth in 2024.

The Dutchman has claimed the opening two Grands Prix of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, meaning he leads the championship by 15 points ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was pictured in a meeting with Jos Verstappen, Max's father, after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Wolff said that the meeting was simply 'to congratulate on his son's achievement' in winning the race, but when asked about whether Verstappen could join the team, he was quoted as saying: "Everything is possible."

But despite speculation about his future, Verstappen has now decided that he intends to stay at Red Bull until at least 2028, when his current contract expires.

Sky Sports News have reported that Verstappen has now made his final decision on whether or not to depart the team, and explained to written media overnight in Australia the reason behind his decision.

He said: "I just focus on the job that I have to do. That's of course the driving side of things.

"When I go home, I think about a lot of other things, which don't include Formula 1, and I have a lot of fun as well.

"I know I have a contract with the team until 2028, and I'm also so happy with all the people I'm working with. The car's going really well. So we should be focusing on that and enjoy what we are doing.

"The previous weekends, there was a lot of talk, but I think we try to put that behind us as a team and try to focus on what's happening on track."

There was concern that Verstappen might quit Red Bull following his comments surrounding Red Bull parent company advisor Helmut Marko earlier this month.

Marko was under investigation over whether or not he broke team protocol during the external investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour against team principal Christian Horner, who was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing.

Marko was also later cleared, and therefore avoided a potential suspension from his role.

Upon hearing about the initial investigation against Marko, Verstappen told media at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: "If Helmut Marko leaves, we will have a really big problem at Red Bull."

He added that he has 'a lot of respect for Helmut', and that 'if such an important pillar falls away, what I have said to the team, that is not good for my situation as well'.

Featured Image Credit: Getty / Sky Sports

Topics: Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1