Toto Wolff's response to Red Bull’s criticism of Mercedes’ Max Verstappen pursuit

Toto Wolff hits back at criticism from Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff over Mercedes' interest in Max Verstappen.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has responded to comments made by Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff which were critical of his pursuit of Max Verstappen.

Mercedes have been publicly courting Verstappen amid unrest and reported turmoil within the Red Bull camp, prompting managing director Mintzlaff to tell Wolff to back off.

“I understand the pressure that Toto Wolff - and maybe other teams - are under after years of trailing,” Mintzlaff said in an interview with Germany’s Bild.

“But I find that Toto Wolff should concentrate on his own challenges - he has enough of those.

“And it is also a matter of respect, talking again and again about personnel from other teams - that's not appropriate.”

Asked about Mintzlaff’s comments, Wolff told reporters at the Miami Grand Prix: "I don't know what this guy is reacting to. It's not relevant to me.”

Wolff stressed that the three-time world champion is a target for every team on the F1 grid.

Second placed Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix,
Second placed Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the podium. Formula…

“I think for all of the teams here he is. As I’ve said before, I don’t think he should leave in 2025,” the Austrian continued.

“He is the top driver at the moment and has to make a decision. Perhaps there is not even a decision to make and things will stay as they are. But that is no guide for us.”

Mintzlaff insisted he has “no concerns” that Verstappen, who is under contract until 2028, would want to move away from Red Bull.

“Max wants the fastest car,” added Mintzlaff. “We have that.

“Max wants to be world champion. He has the best chance to do that with us.

“Max is a loyal guy. He knows that Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have always trusted in him - and he appreciates that.

“And Red Bull is a great brand with which he can identify very well.

“So, there are many reasons in favour - and none against.”

Despite admitting he would “love” to sign Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement, Wolff denied rumours he had a meeting lined up with the Dutchman to discuss his future.

"I can't comment too much on it, but there will be no meeting on Monday,” he confirmed.

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