MX23RW : Monday, September 20 03:09:40| >> :600:241385:241385:

Max Verstappen would prefer to avoid top team switch

Max Verstappen suggests that he would prefer to stay at Red Bull rather than switch to a rival team.

Max Verstappen has suggested that he would prefer to stay at Red Bull rather than switch to a rival team.

The Dutchman remains under contract until 2019, but rumours that he is being wooed by Formula 1's top two teams Mercedes and Ferrari are constant.

Red Bull clearly want the newly 20-year-old to stay, with boss Christian Horner saying that the energy drink company is prepared to build the team around him.

"It's nice to hear such words," Verstappen said.

"I've always had good relations with everyone in the team, including with Christian."

Yet he said that all he really wants is a car with which to fight for his first world title.

"I know Red Bull can build a better car, and in the last two races we showed that," said Verstappen.

"But we do not fully control the situation. The engine still lacks power.

"I hope that in the future the problem will be solved, and then I will have no reason to leave."

Indeed, Verstappen suggested to Algemeen Dagblad newspaper that he would prefer not to switch to Mercedes and Ferrari.

"Lewis [Hamilton] is firmly in place at Mercedes and Sebastian [Vettel] at Ferrari," he said.

"I do not want to be like the second driver. I'd rather stop than do that.

"I also do not think they want to have me as a teammate, and two 'number 1's is also difficult, which showed before with Hamilton and Alonso at McLaren."

Verstappen's best chance of being the clear 'number one' therefore appears to be staying at Red Bull.

"Daniel [Ricciardo] is already 28, he wants to win races but who knows what he's going to do. I feel at ease with this team, it's good with everyone as it is and that's very important," Verstappen said.

Verstappen has 111 points to his name in 2017.

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Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing in the garage during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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