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Driving on ice

6 months ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


20 December 2023

Imagine if Max Verstappen hadn’t competed in F1 this year. And before you roll your sleeves up on that orange jumper and set your Red Bull cap with some more aggressive rake ready to get defensive in the comments, I’m not about to go down the route you think. This is not an alternative history dream from a George Russell fan, or some tifosi wish fulfilment.

Instead I want you to imagine double champ Max popping into Christian’s office in Milton Keynes last December, perhaps bearing a festive offering of some mince pies from the local Waitrose to go with the Limited Edition Mulled Fruit cans of Red Bull in the fridge.

After chatting about how much spice Geri likes in the Christmas pudding and what they should get Michael Masi this year, Max casually drops into the conversation that he’d actually like to spend a bit more time at home in 2023. Bit less Sergio, bit more Kelly. He’ll pop along to Spa, Silverstone, Zandvoort (obviously) and Austria (if they insist), but definitely give Baku and Vegas a miss. I’m sure Helmut will understand, won’t he? Mercedes would probably have heard the expletives 20 miles away in Brackley while persevering sans sidepods.

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