The silly season is upon us and the driver rumours keep flowing in everyday, providing some extra spice to the already spicy F1 season that we have on our hands.
Ricciardo is the major protagonist of the ‘silly season’, as his decision would iron out a lot of the movement that is scheduled to happen in Formula 1.
And while all the Leclerc, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso and Sainz rumours will continue to flow in, Niki Lauda has come up with a story from 2017, about when Mercedes approached Verstappen.
Lauda revealed that Mercedes had actually approached Verstappen in 2017 for a potential deal, as Bottas had had quite a few weak performances.
“We actually talked to Verstappen, that’s for sure,” said Lauda.
“The conversations with father Jos and son Max Verstappen took place in the summer of 2017. Lewis Hamilton was at that time extended by one year and Valtteri Bottas was under pressure after some weaker performances.” he added.
However, Red Bull acted quicker and presented Verstappen with a concrete and hefty contract.
Verstappen accepted it and the story came to an end.
He also stressed on the fact that the Verstappen-Hamilton relationship might not have actually flourished.
“Helmut Marko was faster, Verstappen knew exactly what he had there and then he signed.” Lauda said.
“You always have to pay attention to whether both riders fit together, everyone remembers Rosberg and Hamilton, what stories that brought about.
“Hamilton remains the best driver, whether Vettel has a title or not, or if Verstappen is driving next to him, that does not matter.
“As a total package he is the best. Hamilton needs a teammate who pushes him further, confirming him that he is and remains the fastest. ” he concluded.