Wolff Issues Update On Rumored Talks With Verstappen Over Seat In Mercedes

Tuesday, 07 May 2024 at 18:00
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Toto Wolff (Mercedes's team principal) has been trying to lure Max Verstappen to his team for some time and has now issued an update on his talks with the Dutchman.
Although the Mercedes team principal has many worries on his list at the moment (including the underwhelming performance of his cars), he also needs to find a driver for Lewis Hamilton's seat in Mercedes as soon as 2025.
The Austrian team principal has previously revealed he talked to Verstappen and that the triple World Champion is his number one priority.
After the recently announced departure of Adrian Newey, it was rumored Wolff, with other Mercedes leaders, were supposed to meet the 26-year-old following the race weekend in Miami.
Wolff denied speculations about the meeting after the Miami Grand Prix, but he did not deny that some other talks are scheduled for this month.

"There's always plenty of meetings. I can't really say about the second driver [at Mercedes]. I think we've talked about the possibilities."

"I want to be fair to these guys and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that."

As the 52-year-old clarified, he seems to be waiting for Verstappen (to give a definite answer on what he plans to do in the future) and monitoring the driver market.

"I think we want to take our time, see where Max's thinking goes, and at the same time, monitor the other drivers. Carlos [Sainz] was very strong in Miami again and that's why we are a little bit on an observation mode at the moment

The problem for Wolff is that leaving Red Bull before 2025 (especially to Mercedes) doesn't seem to make sense for the Flying Dutchman. The team principal added:

"As I said before, if I was him, I wouldn't leave, at least for 2025. But it's all in his… he's the leading the driver, he's the top guy at the moment and that's why it's for him to take those decisions."

"There may not be any decisions to take, maybe everything continues like it is, but that is then also guidance for us."