F1 Teams Ferrari, Mercedes Expected To Be In Bidding War For 20-Year-Old Max Verstappen
Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen turned himself into the sport's "most-wanted man with victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix," according to Kevin Eason of the London EVENING STANDARD. Ferrari and Mercedes "will harden up their interest in the Dutchman" -- who turned 20 on Saturday -- by making him an offer to "become one of the richest drivers in the sport’s history" with a £20M ($26.6M)-a-year contract. Jos Verstappen, Max’s father and a former Benetton F1 driver, "is desperate to move his son from Red Bull to one of the sport’s most historic and best-funded teams." Jos "is a personal friend, too," of Mercedes Motorsport Dir Toto Wolff, who "appears to have made his intentions clear" by placing Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton’s teammate, on a one-year contract next season. Ferrari "will not give up hope, though, and will make an offer" when Verstappen’s Red Bull contract runs out next year, despite the "likely opposition of Sebastian Vettel, whose relationship with Red Bull’s tyro is strained" after a series of on-track incidents (EVENING STANDARD, 10/2).