Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen still sees his future at Red Bull despite internal team problems and ongoing speculation about a change.

“I’m very happy with where I am right now and I want to leave it at that,” said the Dutchman on Thursday in Suzuka, Japan. The 26-year-old had previously said with a laugh: “It all depends on whether I want to drive next year.” However, it currently seems extremely unlikely that the three-time champion will end his career, as he himself later explained: “I have a contract with Red Bull until 2028, only after that do I want to see whether I even want to continue.”

There has been speculation for weeks that Verstappen could become record world champion Lewis Hamilton’s successor at Mercedes. The Brit Hamilton will move from the Silver Arrows to Ferrari in 2025. There are rumors that Verstappen has an exit clause in his contract that could allow him to leave after this season. Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff had recently said several times that Verstappen was his preferred candidate for the vacant cockpit.

Verstappen should be able to say goodbye to Red Bull if his close confidant Helmut Marko has to leave early. The 80-year-old Austrian is team boss Christian Horner’s opponent in an explosive affair. Horner was accused of inappropriate behavior by an employee. After an investigation initiated by parent company Red Bull, the complaint was dismissed. But anonymous emails with juicy details fueled the process, which in turn revealed power struggles at Red Bull that could escalate even further.