Toto Wolff update offers fresh hint that Mercedes could sign Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff gives an update on Mercedes' pursuit of Max Verstappen for 2025.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

Toto Wolff has hinted that Red Bull’s dominant F1 form won’t be enough to keep Max Verstappen at the team amid links to Mercedes.

Verstappen’s F1 future has been a hot topic amid the fallout following the investigation into Christian Horner’s alleged inappropriate behaviour.

During the Bahrain weekend, Verstappen’s father - Jos Verstappen - was seen talking to Wolff in the paddock after making strong comments against Horner, suggesting the latter staying in his position as team boss could tear the organisation apart.

Shortly after, reports surfaced linking Verstappen to the vacant Mercedes seat.

These rumours were only strengthened at the next race when Helmut Marko’s future with the team was put in doubt.

The three-time world champion made it clear that Marko’s future was linked to his own - if Marko leaves, then Verstappen would too.

Since then, things appear to have calmed down with Red Bull dominating on track.

Speaking after the Chinese Grand Prix, Wolff suggested that other “factors” could play a role in Verstappen deciding to leave Red Bull.

“There are so many factors that play a role in a driver joining,” Wolff said in China. “Clearly when you look at it from the most rational point of view, you can say ‘that's the quickest car in the hands of the quickest driver’.

“But I don't think this is the only reason you stay where you are. Let's say… simple minds, that might be the only reason why you stay in a car and that's it but maybe there are more depths for some people that consider other factors too. I think that Max has that.”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium…

Mercedes endured another miserable weekend in Shanghai, finishing sixth and ninth respectively.

Despite Mercedes’ poor form, Wolff believes he doesn’t need to “convince” F1’s in-form driver.

“In that respect, are we able to convince him? I don't think it's a matter of convincing,” he added.

“I think that Max knows motor racing better than anyone, he will take decisions that he feels are good for him. I think a few factors play a role, but he's the one that is the one that's going to trigger some more domino stones to fall in afterwards. Everybody is  waiting for what he's going to do.

“If I was Max I would stay at Red Bull in 2025 but I’m not Max. It’s the quickest car but there are still other factors."

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