mobile app bar

Ex-Red Bull Driver Advises Max Verstappen to Join Hands With Mercedes – “Ford Is Not Going to Make It Happen”

Mahim Suhalka

Ex-Red Bull Driver Advises Max Verstappen to Join Hands With Mercedes - “Ford Is Not Going to Make It Happen”

Max Verstappen and Red Bull are enjoying some unprecedented dominance in F1. However, even the mighty fall back and that is the cyclical nature of the sport. Based on this understanding, a Dutch former Red Bull driver is pleading with Verstappen to look beyond 2025. He believes an independent team like Red Bull might’ve won the battle [in the short term]. However, Robert Doornbos believes factory teams like Mercedes will win the war [in the long-term] as “Ford is not going to make it happen”.

As quoted by F1 Maximaal, the ex-Red Bull man argued in Ziggo Sport Race Cafe, “Ford is not going to make it happen. As it looks now, they don’t have enough power. Never change a winning team, yes, but this winning team won’t last forever. That’s how Formula 1 works.”

Despite the $30 million investment from Ford, Doornbos believes the partnership may not work. He is of the idea that the Ford engine won’t be as powerful compared to the Mercedes engine. Red Bull has already started using their Ford money to work on the 2026 engines and they’ve encountered some issues. Such reports vindicate Doornbos’s claims of Mercedes gaining the edge again after the 2026 regulation changes.

Mercedes’s recent experience of being an F1 veteran powerhouse supplying engines will play in their favor. Whereas Ford has last witnessed its F1 glory days over three decades ago.

Doornbos feels that Mercedes, being fully invested in its F1 project, will not shy away from investing millions to find performance for their 2026 power unit. That is something Ford may be unwilling to do, given they only have a strategic partnership with Red Bull. With all these arguments in mind, when can or should Max Verstappen make the switch?

Max Verstappen has ample time to decide his future

Another Dutch racer in the form of Renger van der Zande was present on the scene to express his opinion on the matter. Discussing the timeframe, he believes Verstappen has ample time to decide his future. Leaving a dominant Red Bull under current regulations won’t be the smartest move. So for 2026, he believes, “Max has all the time, he can look at all the details of the team.”

Van der Zande also highlighted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes. “Hamilton going from McLaren to Mercedes is an example of leaving for the right team at the right time,” said Van der Zande.

The reigning champion can also make a similar move by switching loyalties to Mercedes for 2026 and beyond. With Toto Wolff already trying to poach the Dutchman, he could lead the Brackley outfit to future glory.

It all seems speculative, however, even Verstappen has started entertaining this idea. The 2021 champion even admitted the rift birthed in the tumultuous championship season can be forgotten. This is a small sign that Toto Wolff’s attempts can be successful if he plays his cards right.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. With an ever-growing love for the sport since 2019, he became a part of the industry two years ago and since then has written over 2200 pieces. A Lewis Hamilton fan through and through and with Hamilton's loyalties shifting to Ferrari, so will his. Apart from F1, he is a Football fanatic having played the sport and represented his state in various tournaments as he still stays in touch with the sport. Always a sports enthusiast Mahim is now translating his passion into words.

Read more from Mahim Suhalka

Share this article