Hamilton teases Verstappen contact with Mercedes over 2021 seat

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Lewis Hamilton has stirred up the 2021 silly season pot by suggesting Max Verstappen is in contact with Mercedes over a seat.

Speculation of the Red Bull driver considering a move to the German manufacturer isn't new with reports of talks in 2017 and even earlier this year before results improved mid-season.

But at a time when the six-time Formula 1 is linked to a big move of his own to Ferrari, he is also teasing how Mercedes could be set for a big change after next year. 

“It’s an interesting time because there’s a lot of people, a lot of drivers who are seeking positions everywhere," Hamilton claimed via Crash.net at the FIA gala last week.

“The amount of calls Toto gets from every driver including the one that was up here just recently [Verstappen] asking to come.

“Everyone is trying to leave their team to come to where we are. Which is an understandable thing because everyone wants to win, and everyone wants to be part of a winning formula.”

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While privately Hamilton thinks Verstappen might be seeking a switch to the German manufacturer, publicly the Dutchman is keeping his focus solely on 2020.

“To be honest I don’t really think about it too much. I know there are other possibilities after next year," he commented.

“I have one more year on the contract but I think what is more important is just to see what happens at the beginning of the season and then from there onwards we will see what happens.”

And Max also remains sure that the ultimate goal of a championship with Red Bull is attainable.

“They’ve shown in the past that they can do it, so it’s not something that is just wishful thinking,” the 22-year-old stated.

“It’s not easy. The competition is very strong but like I said before we’re going to try everything next year because it’s going to be an important year and then we’ll see what happens.”

Despite the rumours of a big shuffle among the top drivers though, team boss Christian Horner doubts much will change.

“In 2021 almost all top drivers are without a contract, but Max is happy here, he fits well with us," he told Holland's Formule1. “We have to give him a good car next year so that we can keep him.

“Everyone should stay with the same team for the same money," Horner argued. "[Charles] Leclerc is stuck, Lewis is happy where he is, Max is happy. Why would they change?”