Max Verstappen warned over “stupid” Mercedes move amid Red Bull exit rumors

Matt Hobkinson
Max Verstappen

Former Ferrari star Giancarlo Fisichella has warned Max Verstappen that a move to Mercedes would be “stupid” for the Red Bull driver as rumors of a potential move to the Silver Arrows continue to swirl.

With seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes at the end of the season to join Ferrari, Mercedes have one hell of a seat to fill alongside George Russell.

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Christian Horner and a power struggle at Red Bull, rumors have emerged that Verstappen could leave the current constructors’ champions. Yet, Fisichella has strongly advised against the Dutchman jumping ship.

Speaking exclusively to Dexerto, on behalf of Instant Casinos, Fisichella said: “The rumor, in the last few days, is Max could move to Mercedes. But I think that will be stupid.

“From Red Bull, he’s got a lot of money. He’s got the best car. Unless this year would be catastrophic for him, but I don’t think it will be.”

Asked who he thinks will replace Hamilton at Mercedes, the former Ferrari star admitted that Toto Wolff has a difficult choice to make.

“I think there are names like [Fernando] Alonso, [Daniel] Ricciardo, [Kimi] Antonelli,” he said. “If I was the team principal, I would choose Alonso because he’s got a lot of experience and is still quick. He still wants to fight. So probably for me, he will be the first option.

“If Alonso is not possible, maybe Antonelli, why not? Kimi is young, he is a rookie, this year it will be very important for him in Formula 2.

“If this year he will be strong enough, he will fight for the championship. He can move from Formula 2 to Formula 1.”

There has been no official confirmation from Mercedes yet as to who will replace Hamilton. But with over half of the grid out of contract heading into 2025, there will be plenty of options for the Silver Arrows.