Max Verstappen responds as Fernando Alonso predicts F1 champion will not leave Red Bull at end of 2024

Max Verstappen’s future has been questioned recently but Fernando Alonso thinks the three-time F1 world champion will not be going anywhere; watch every session of the Japanese GP on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event with the race at 6am on Sunday

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Max Verstappen discusses the importance of Adrian Newey to Red Bull and praises the chief technical officer for what he brings to the team.

Max Verstappen insists he wants to remain “very happy” at Red Bull after Fernando Alonso claimed there’s “zero chance” the reigning world champion will change teams for 2025.

Verstappen has a contract with Red Bull until 2028 but his future has been questioned following off-track turbulence at Red Bull.

After the conclusion of an investigation into Christian Horner, which resulted in allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against the team principal by a female colleague being dismissed in March, an ongoing power struggle between Red Bull’s most senior figures has become apparent.

The complainant has appealed against the decision. She was and remains suspended by Red Bull on full pay.

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If Verstappen were to leave Red Bull, it would have massive implications on the driver market and Alonso is one of 12 drivers without a contract for 2025.

Alonso, who wants to make a decision on his own future before the summer break in August, has been linked to replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and is also in discussions over a new contract with Aston Martin.

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Max Verstappen’s ex physio and fitness coach, Brad Scanes, believes that Max Verstappen is so special because winning is ‘ingrained in his makeup’.

“If Max leaves Red Bull, maybe that has an impact (on me) but I think there is zero chance of that happening,” said Alonso ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1.

“So I think that’s something that I’m not thinking too much about. What I want to do is just concentrate on my stuff here and just this race, before, the summer, to make a decision of if I keep racing around, and if I keep racing, where will be the best possibility.

“That stress that is happening, I know the rumours and things like that. We are not into those too much, I’m not into those for sure.”

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Guenther Steiner claims nothing is impossible when it comes to a potential eighth world title for Lewis Hamilton and the former Haas boss also has his say on Max Verstappen.

Verstappen ‘very happy’ at Red Bull

A major consideration for all the F1 drivers will be the new 2026 regulations and which teams will be most competitive when the new technical regulations are introduced.

More emphasis will be put on electrical power as the MGU-H, a part of the power unit, is ditched with F1 looking to become more sustainable.

Red Bull will build their own power units from Milton Keynes in partnership with Ford as they end their current engine relationship with Honda from 2026.

The last major power unit regulation change in 2014 saw the pecking order change significantly, which could be the case again in 2026.

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Max Verstappen vented his frustration at the Red Bull mechanics after a brake issue meant he only lasted three laps at the Australia GP.

Verstappen was told about Alonso’s comments about him and said: “From my side, I’m very happy with where I’m at and we want to keep it that way.”

Aston Martin’s recent reported offer to Red Bull chief technical officer and design genius Adrian Newey, plus the Silverstone-based team taking on Honda engines from 2026 has brought into question whether Verstappen would move to Aston Martin in the future.

Verstappen lauded Honda in Thursday’s press conference in Suzuka and was asked about the possibility of uniting with them after 2026.

“I have a contract with Red Bull until 2028. After that, I first want to see if I actually want to continue,” he said.

“For me that’s the most important thing, it’s not so much about ‘where’. These kind of things I don’t really think about.”

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Max Verstappen’s ex-physio and fitness coach Brad Scanes doesn’t believe the Red Bull driver will stick around in Formula 1 as long as Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have.

Verstappen: Brake issue shouldn’t happen again

Verstappen comes into the Japanese Grand Prix with only a four-point lead in the drivers’ championship following his retirement last time out in Melbourne due to a brake issue.

It was Verstappen’s first DNF for two years and ended his winning run of nine successive victories as Carlos Sainz led Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc in a one-two.

Red Bull have investigated the issue and Verstappen revealed there were already indications prior to the race about a potential brake problem.

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Max Verstappen limps back into the garage and is out of the Australian Grand Prix as smoke pours out of his Red Bull!

“We saw already some signs on Saturday when things were not looking how they should have done,” said the reigning world champion.

“In hindsight you can say it was coming from the brake calliper but we couldn’t find any fault with the car, but in a way, when you have a fault with the build specification it’s a bit worse. We’ll move on and learn from it that it doesn’t happen again. Normally it shouldn’t.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Japanese GP schedule

Friday April 5
3am: Japanese GP Practice One (session starts at 3.30am)*
6.45am: Japanese GP Practice Two (session starts at 7am)*

8.15am: The F1 Show*
10am: Japanese GP Practice One replay
11.30am: Japanese GP Practice Two replay

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Look back on some of the most exciting title deciders to take place at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Saturday April 6
3.15am: Japanese GP Practice Three (session starts at 3.30am)*
6am: Japanese GP Qualifying build-up*
7am: Japanese GP Qualifying*
9am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook*
9.30am: Japanese GP Qualifying replay

Sunday April 7
5am: Grand Prix Sunday Japanese GP build-up*
8am: Chequered Flag: Japanese GP reaction*
9am: Ted’s Notebook*
9.30am: Japanese Grand Prix highlights*
10.30am: Japanese Grand Prix replay

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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