Dec.9 (GMM) Max Verstappen has admitted there may be “opportunities” for a move to another team for 2021.
At the FIA prize-giving gala, the futures of the Dutch driver as well as Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff continued to be hot topics.
“Of course we want to know what each other’s plans are,” Wolff said, referring to Hamilton and rumours the British driver might switch to Ferrari.
“But I see no problem that we do not close doors so soon. Whether we know in April, June or October about who is with us in 2021 does not matter to me.”
Hamilton suggested to reporters at the Paris event that Verstappen, who currently drives for Red Bull-Honda, has been calling Wolff about 2021.
“It’s understandable, because everyone wants to win and be part of a successful project,” he said.
“What we’ve built up over these years is very strong and other teams just don’t have that yet. It takes time to build it.”
But Verstappen played down the latest Mercedes talk.
“I know there will be opportunities next year, but to be honest I haven’t thought much about it,” he said.
“I think it’s more important that we wait and see what happens at the start of the new year.”
Ultimately, Hamilton will make the key decision about 2021, and Fernando Alonso said at the FIA gala: “I don’t know what I would do in Lewis’ situation.
“I would imagine that loyalty will play a major role, but no one knows how it will go for Mercedes in 2021 and beyond.”
As for Wolff, he has been linked not only with Chase Carey’s top job at Liberty Media, but also with a sensational switch to Ferrari.
He said: “I don’t want to take a decision that involves everyone’s future lightly. It will take some time, but I don’t think there will be surprises.”
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!