Toto Wolff vows not to “push” Max Verstappen into making Mercedes decision

"We have to give him time," Toto Wolff says about Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3,…

Toto Wolff insists Max Verstappen requires “time” to consider whether he will quit Red Bull.

Mercedes must find a replacement for Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton for next year, and a stunning new option briefly appeared on the driver market in the shape of Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver’s future unexpectedly became up for debate after it was revealed that he can activate a contractual clause to leave his team, if Helmut Marko first exits.

Mercedes team principal Wolff was asked if Verstappen might go to Mercedes.

He replied to Sky Sports: “If I would know…

“Well, at the end, Max is in the quickest car. This is what a driver is always going to look at.

“He’s in a fantastic place in his career. It’s a decision that is up to him.

“‘Is it an environment that I’d like to change? If yes, where would I like to go?’

“The trigger, for him maybe thinking about other options, is because they have some wobbles going through their time.

“We have to give him time to think how he wants to sort out his future, without giving it a push from our side.”

Verstappen admitted at the F1 Australian Grand Prix that it was “nice to hear” Wolff was opening the door to Mercedes for him.

But Verstappen insisted: “I don’t think about any other thing because it’s pretty fixed where I am. And that’s also where I want to be.”

He is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028 and is already in a great position to claim a fourth F1 championship in a row this season.

Red Bull - who have been mired in controversy off-track all year due to the situation surrounding Christian Horner, which then engulfed Verstappen and his father - had a below-par day in Australia on Friday.

Verstappen was kept off the top of the timesheets in practice by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

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