Formula 1: Why fans should start to worry about the 2026 season

With the current state of rumors and more than half of the grid without a contract, a potential driver move could shake up the next era of Formula 1.
Max Verstappen, Formula 1
Max Verstappen, Formula 1 / Qian Jun/MB Media/GettyImages

With the recent controversies surrounding Red Bull and team principal Christian Horner, rumors have been swirling regarding the future of Max Verstappen.

Jos Verstappen has been quite vocal on the current state of things within the team, and it seems like he is calling for the departure of the Red Bull team boss. However, Horner is looking to hold his ground, as he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

As tension builds within Red Bull, some believe an implosion could be coming, one that could result in the departure of Max Verstappen after 2024, four years short of the end of his current contract.

The main team that could look to take advantage of the situation is Mercedes. Team principal and CEO Toto Wolff publicly hinted at the possibility of Verstappen joining the Silver Arrows, a pairing that could bring Mercedes back to the top of Formula 1 immediately. But looking further into the future, it's a move that should concern fans.

Why should this move cause concern?

Pairing the most dominant driver in the sport with the best team of the last decade could result in a level of control over the sport for the foreseeable future. Such a level of dominance would be rather impossible for anyone else to reach.

With 2026 bringing monumental regulation changes to Formula 1, it will be a very different era of racing compared to the present, and Mercedes are rumored to be leading the development of the next era of cars.

Pairing what could be the best team and most dominant driver in a time when there are such new aspects introduced to the sport could result in a negative impact on the competition side. With the efforts put toward the new regulations aimed at growing the sport, would having the same winner season after season (again) be the most ideal look?

Formula 1: Max Verstappen decision led to Lewis Hamilton's Ferrari move. Formula 1: Max Verstappen decision led to Lewis Hamilton's Ferrari move. dark. Next

While Mercedes and Verstappen could be reaping the rewards of being crowned champion year after year, Formula 1 could suffer. This potential duo could bring a level of dominance never seen before, beyond that of Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, and even Verstappen currently at Red Bull.