Wolff Answers Questions About Verstappen's Potential Future With Mercedes

Friday, 22 March 2024 at 18:30
verstappen max redbull rbcp97
Following the second practice session at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Toto Wolff addressed questions about Max Verstappen-Mercedes rumors.
The biggest topics of the last two weeks have been the triple World Champion, his future at Red Bull, and his potential move to Mercedes.
Former F1 driver Johny Herbert stated in one of his most recent interviews ahead of the 2024 Australian Grand Prix that he heard Verstappen's deal with Mercedes was "getting quite close."
Sky Sport's Karun Chandhok asked Wolff in a very straightforward manner during an interview after the FP2 session whether Verstappen will be driving for Mercedes next year, and the team principal replied:

"If I would know… (chuckles) At the end, Max is in the quickest car and this is what a driver is always going to look at."

During the first two races of the season, Mercedes couldn't come close to Red Bull with the pace of their car. Drivers choose teams mainly based on cars' potential, so Wolff is aware Silver Arrows aren't currently so lucrative for the triple World Champion.

"He's in a fantastic place in his career and then it will be a decision that is up to him to say, 'is it an environment that I'd like to change and if yes, where do I want to go?'"

While Wolff keeps saying there is much more potential in the W15, Mercedes hasn't been able to show it so far. If Mercedes continues its current trajectory, the next biggest opportunity it can offer Verstappen to compete for the championship will be when regulations change in 2026.
Asked whether that is something that might potentially lure Verstappen to Mercedes, the Austrian team principal added:

"I think the trigger for him maybe thinking about other options is because they have some wobbles going through their team."

"I think we've got to give him time to think how he wants to sort out his future without giving it a push from our side."