Max Verstappen Addresses Loss Of Chief Mechanic Lee Stevenson


Max Verstappen has recently spoken out about the departure of his chief mechanic, Lee Stevenson, amid rumours of a potential shift to Mercedes. The Red Bull Racing star also commented on the current atmosphere within his team, providing insights into the internal dynamics of the Milton Keynes squad.

It was reported that the reigning champion’s chief mechanic left the team after he posted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram, confirming his departure to another team “at the other end of the pit lane”. In fact, Stevenson hadn’t been Verstappen’s chief mechanic for a while, with him handing in his notice last year and his role being taken by Chris Gent.

Despite this, Verstappen was asked about the potential instability of the team following the Christian Horner allegations and now Stevenson’s exit. Talking to Dutch publication AD (as quoted by PlanetF1), he said the following:

“At the moment nobody is afraid of that [his exit], I think. Two weeks back, though? Mwah, that may be. But some people also read a lot, I don’t. And I think in general that does help.

Max Verstappen at Australian Grand Prix
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert…

Mark Thompson/Red Bull Content Pool

“That’s what I do try to tell people, yes, that they better not read it all for a while, certain things. And if there are any questions, anyone in the team can always call me.

“Of course, it’s always about being able to keep the right people for as long as possible. That’s a constant battle because of course other teams want to pull that, which is normal. That happens with the other top teams as well.”

This comes amid rumours of Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, as the Briton moves to Ferrari for the 2025 season. These rumours were further fuelled by comments from his father, Jos. Despite this, there has been no confirmation that the three-consecutive world champion wants to leave the team.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has, however, made it no secret that he is fighting for Max.

“We have a slot free, the only one in the top teams — unless Max decides he goes and then the slot is not going to be free with us anymore,” he told Fox Sports Australia.

Asked if he was the number one choice for the Brackley squad, Wolff answered:

“Yes. You see what his performance levels are but I wouldn’t want to discount the other ones too.”

Alongside Verstappen, the Austrian chief is also eyeing up the likes of Fernando Alonso, whose contract with Aston Martin comes to an end at the end of this season, and Carlos Sainz, who is also out of a seat.

Kimi Antonelli, the 17-year-old Formula 2 star, is also in his crosshairs.