Max Verstappen has brushed aside the idea of Lewis Hamilton joining him at Red Bull, wondering why the world champion would want to change Formula 1 teams.
Former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan suggested earlier this week that Hamilton should turn his back on a new contract at Mercedes and go for a face-to-face with Verstappen at Red Bull instead.
But the idea of Jordan didn’t generate much enthusiasm from Verstappen when it was brought up ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.
Asked by Autosport what he thought of the idea, Verstappen said: “The only thing that interests me is winning the championship.”
Pushed on Hamilton’s prospect, Verstappen said: “Well why would he do that? He wants to win the championship too, I want to win the championship.
“Of course he tried to be on the right team; and right now he’s on the right team to win the championship. But, yeah, let’s see what happens.”
With Hamilton on the cusp of securing a record 91st Grand Prix victory this weekend, Verstappen heads to the event in Russia in hopes of seeing the checkered flag after back-to-back retreats to Monza and the Mugello.
Honda, supplier of Red Bull engines, said a combination of factors related to the engine’s electricity and software triggered its failure last time around, with countermeasures being put in place for Sochi.
“I’m just very motivated to start over, but what was most important at the time was understanding the issues so that we could fix them,” Verstappen added. “At the moment we’ve had three retirements in nine races, so it’s not very nice. We’re just trying to work on that and trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
When asked if he thought the team understood the issues, he replied, “Yeah, I mean I think they explained a lot to me, so I hope it doesn’t happen again. . But for now, we can speculate about it. It’s time we show it on the right track. “
With Sochi’s long straights not expected to play with Red Bull’s forces, Verstappen said he was preparing for a tough weekend.
“It has never been a great weekend for us in terms of competitiveness, I think,” he said. “So I don’t expect any miracles.
“Of course there are a lot of long straights and a lot of 90 degree turns, which are really short turns, so you can’t make a huge difference.
“So probably the guys behind, they’ll be a lot closer to Mugello. We’ll see throughout the weekend how competitive we are, but of course the goal will be to try and get on the podium.”