Max Verstappen has become the latest driver to be caught up in wild rumours ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Red Bull star was asked about the possibility of driving the remaining couple of races for AlphaTauri ahead of the weekend’s action.
Verstappen is currently enjoying one of the most impressive seasons in F1 history with the three-time world champion heading into the final three Grands Prix of the season with an astonishing 251-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez and a record-breaking 16 race wins to his name.
With such an astounding points tally to his name, Verstappen has performed well enough that his total would give Red Bull a commanding lead at the top of the Constructors’ Championship on his own. His team-mate, meanwhile, has been struggling to stay consistently in the points and is now just 20 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the standings.
The 26-year-old has now been caught up in the whirlwind of crazy rumours floating around the paddock ahead of the Brazilian GP with some fleeting suggestions posing that Verstappen could swap places with Daniel Ricciardo in the AlphaTauri for the two upcoming races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.
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This switch would give Red Bull the chance to assess Perez and Ricciardo in equal machinery as they look to make a decision about their immediate futures for the 2024 season. However, when asked about the idea, Verstappen was less than impressed.
Posed the question of the switch by Sky Sports F1, Verstappen responded: “Luckily, I didn’t see them and I didn’t read them.” The Dutchman is looking to make it 19 wins from a possible 22 this season, demolishing the 15-win record he set last season.
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The link between Verstappen and AlphaTauri was one of many wild suggestions proposed after vague and teasing comments from paddock journalists stoked a late ‘silly season’ frenzy ahead of the trip to Interlagos, but by far the most prominent was the rumour that Fernando Alonso would be replacing Checo at Red Bull for the 2024 season.
Red Bull’s hierarchy moved quickly to rubbish the rumours upon arriving in the Brazilian GP paddock, while Alonso was left furious with the journalists in question.
Addressing the speculation, he said: “These rumours are the normal paddock rumours from people that are just trying to make fun of it and gain some followers and this kind of thing, but I’m not into that game.”
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