Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

Toto Wolff offers honest verdict on Max Verstappen to Mercedes after meeting with Jos | F1 | Sport

Talking to Sky Sports Italy about Mercedes’ chances of luring Verstappen away from Red Bull, Wolff explained: “The market is very interesting.

“For a driver, the most important thing is to be with whoever is fastest, and there is no reason now for Max to leave Red Bull anytime soon. But we’ll see what happens.”

A few months ago, Verstappen’s position at Red Bull looked unshakable. The 26-year-old holds a contract that runs until the end of the 2028 season, and in the RB20, the Milton Keynes-based outfit have produced what looks to be another title-winning car. 

However, the saga surrounding Christian Horner’s position has unsettled the Red Bull camp and with the futures of Adrian Newey and Helmut Marko both in doubt, it isn’t inconceivable that the star driver could follow them out of the door. 

Speculation of a spectacular move to Mercedes was fuelled after Jos Verstappen – father of the three-time world champion – was spotted talking to Wolff in the Bahrain GP paddock. 

The 52-year-old added more pressure onto Horner in the aftermath of the race weekend, stating: “There is tension here while [Horner] remains in position. The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

Mercedes are in need of a replacement for Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time world champion made the surprising call to join Ferrari come the end of the 2024 campaign.

With teenage starlet Kimi Antonelli still some way off graduating to the F1 grid and neither Mick Schumacher nor Frederik Vesti ready to fill the boots, Wolff needs to find a creative replacement on short notice, and Verstappen would represent just that.

However, as the Mercedes boss hinted, the Silver Arrows would need to make considerable inroads into Red Bull’s advantage if they were to convince Verstappen that they could provide him with a car capable of fighting for World Championships.  

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