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2016 F1

Verstappen eyes top team ‘third car’ if Red Bull quits

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Verstappen eyes top team 'third car' if Red Bull quits

Verstappen eyes top team ‘third car’ if Red Bull quits

Even amid Red Bull’s ever-deepening engine crisis, Max Verstappen’s father is not very worried.

The energy drink company could be set to pull its four cars from the grid ahead of the 2016 season, throwing into doubt the future of the stable’s drivers.

But up and down the paddock, very few are concerned that F1 could be set to lose 18-year-old Verstappen, one of the most exciting emerging young talents in the history of the sport.

“It seems unnecessary for me to say that Max is doing well,” quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

“Everybody recognises his talent and Toro Rosso is the perfect training ground for young talent.”

But Toro Rosso, along with the premier team Red Bull Racing, could be exiting the F1 paddock amid their seemingly ill-fated search for engine deals.

Max’s dad Jos, however, is not too concerned.

“Everyone is asking me about Max and next season and what’s going to happen,” he said.

Verstappen snr said that if Toro Rosso does stay, he is “really concerned” that time is now running short for the Faenza team to design the 2016 car around a new engine and get it up-and-running for winter testing.

He added: “It might sound weird, but I’m less worried about Max’s career in formula one, despite the uncertainty of the moment.

“If I reflect on how Max started and where he’s at now, then I think his career in F1 is fairly secure.”

Jos said that even if Red Bull does pull out, “There are rumours that top teams will enter a third car — even Bernie Ecclestone has said it. If that were the case, Max’s outlook would obviously change.”

He insisted, however, that he hopes Red Bull stays in F1 so that Max can race out the final two years of his contract with the energy drink company.

“In the end it’s all down to (Dietrich) Mateschitz and no one else. I think it could go either way.

“Red Bull has done a lot for formula one and I’ve got the feeling that he (Mateschitz) hopes F1 wants to take care of him now. I hope the same, but I’m prepared for anything,” said Jos. (GMM)

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