Max Verstappen says he not paying any attention to the rumours linking him with a move away from Red Bull Racing after the end of the 2021 season, with the Dutchman insisting he is focusing on having a strong campaign this year.
Verstappen has been linked to a possible move to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team for 2022, possibly in place of Lewis Hamilton who only signed a one-year extension to his contract earlier this year.
However, Verstappen has distanced himself from the rumours, insisting 2021 is where his focus lies as he bids to end Mercedes’ seven-year winning streak in both the World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
“At the end of the day, I don’t know what Lewis is going to do,” Verstappen is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “But I just focus on myself, and I’m very focused on this year and trying to make it a success.
“It’s still early in the season, with only basically a shakedown [complete], so those kind of things I’m not really thinking about at this stage.”
Verstappen says Red Bull’s decision to take over the development of the Honda power unit after the end of 2021 when the Japanese manufacturer withdraws from the sport is ‘exciting’ but again it is the upcoming season that he is focused on.
“It’s exciting, but at the same time, I’m also not too focused on it at the moment,” said the Dutchman. “We are living in the moment, trying to have a good season first of all this year, and the smart people in the background will handle those kind of things with the engine.”