Verstappen distances himself from Mercedes move as Ferrari firmly shut the door

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Max Verstappen has suggested he is more than happy to remain at Red Bull post-2020 despite Mercedes speculation.

The Dutchman has been linked to the Brackley-based squad several times during his career, including in 2017 and again earlier this year before ultimately staying put.

With both seats at Mercedes opening up for grabs in 2021, however, it is already claimed Verstappen has been in contact as he looks to finally secure a championship-contending car.

But: "I'm really happy where I am at the moment, and I really want to win with Red Bull," Max responded to Autocar.

"They brought me into Formula 1, so there was this kind of loyalty to them. I think we're over that phase, but still I'm really happy where I am.

"I really enjoy working with them; it's a great group of people. I feel at home, which is also really important for a driver, that you feel appreciated. Everybody is really motivated so, for me, I don't want to change."

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Another factor which needs consideration is the overhaul in regulations coming for 2021 which could alter the F1 landscape significantly.

"First we'll try to do that with these regulations for the final year, and of course then you set your sights to the new rules. Hopefully things will change," Verstappen added.

One destination that is very much off the table, however, is Ferrari, with the controversy over the legality of their engine burning that bridge.

"Why should I lend credibility to a 22-year-old?" CEO Louis Camilleri snapped back referring to Max's suggestions of cheating in Austin.

"Sensational declarations generally don't take you very far. Max is 22 years old, why give him credibility when we're Ferrari?

"Sometimes silence is more powerful. This is my point of view.

"Verstappen wanted to put incredible pressure on Ferrari and [team boss] Mattia Binotto said we had FIA inspectors everywhere," Camilleri added. "His words created all sorts of problems within the team.

"I understand his frustration at the fact that sometimes we remain silent, I fully understand it.

"But I think we are Ferrari and we must avoid the controversy because if you don't it's like playing a losing game, and I don't think we should stoop down to this level."

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