SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Three-time defending Formula One champion Max Verstappen dispelled any lingering doubts about his immediate future by saying he will remain at Red Bull next season.

Verstappen spoke Thursday at a press conference before the Austrian Grand Prix and after being asked a third time if he would publicly commit to Red Bull finally replied “OK, yes.”

“I mean, we’re already also working on next year’s car,” the Dutch driver said. “I think when you’re very focused on that, that means that you’re also driving for the team.”

Verstappen has a contract with Red Bull through 2028, but Lewis Hamilton’s vacant seat at Mercedes come 2025 has spawned speculation about the German team attempting to lure Verstappen away. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said earlier this year that he’d “love” to have Verstappen as a driver.

“Of course, people are talking, but it’s most important just that we have a very competitive car for the future,” Verstappen said. “And for sure, I said this already with the team, we are working and focusing also on next year to try and be competitive again.”

Verstappen leads the drivers’ standings with a 69-point advantage over McLaren’s Lando Norris. He has won seven of 10 races so far, including last weekend’s Spanish GP.

F1 will undergo a major rulebook overhaul for 2026.


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