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George/Max

Wolff reveals that Mercedes F1 and Verstappen is a ‘relationship that needs to happen’

There has been a lot of speculation about who will be taking the vacant seat at Mercedes and Max Verstappen has been one of the most prominent names in the discussions...

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Toto Wolff speaks out on the possibility of Max Verstappen joining Mercedes, admitting that ‘it’s a relationship that needs to happen at a certain stage.’

Toto Wolff speaking to media: Photo credits: Vince Mignott/MB Media via Getty Images.

In 2022, Max Verstappen signed the longest contract ever with Red Bull Racing, locking the Dutchman in until 2028.

Heading into 2024, it seemed this still would be the case and Verstappen would continue his career with the Red Bull family. However, the controversy surrounding, team principal Christian Horner, has cast a shadow of doubt on this future with the team.

After Horner was accused of harassment and controlling behaviour toward an employee, Verstappen’s father, Jos, broke to the media that Red Bull would be ‘torn apart‘ if Horner continued to stay in his role.

Chatter and speculation continued further when it was announced that Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko, was under investigation after rumours of the Austrian supposedly leaking information to the press about Horner – these rumours have since been dismissed.

However, whilst the investigation was ongoing, Verstappen made it abundantly clear that his future lies with Marko.

“My loyalty to him is very big” Verstappen stated.

“I have always expressed this to everyone within the team, everyone high up, that he is an important part in my decision making for all the time in the future as well within the team.”

With all the noise, rumours began swirling that Verstappen could partner alongside George Russell and claim the vacant seat for 2025. The three-time world champion hasn’t shut down the rumours either, leaving the door open for more speculation.

Wolff hopes for relationship to come full circle

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff has spoken to the media about how he would ‘love‘ Verstappen to join the Brackley-based team and has confirmed that the Dutchman is the top pick for the seat alongside a few other candidates.

Speaking to Fox Sports Australia, the Austrian spoke about his relationship with Verstappen and hopes for the relationship to come full circle and to build a partnership:

“We have a slot free, the only one in the top teams – unless Max decides he goes. Then the slot is not going to be free with us anymore.

“I’d seen him in Formula 3; he was very good,”

“I have a good relationship with his father, so we sat down in my home in Vienna and said, ‘What can we do?”

“I wasn’t able to give him a Formula 1 seat, I said, ‘Let’s do F2 together, fully funded and I guarantee you a seat next year in the car’. Wolff revealed.

“They said, ‘I have an offer from Red Bull for [Toro Rosso] basically from now on’. That was it. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to compete with that.

“Half into the next season [in 2016], he replaced [Daniil Kvyat] at Red Bull and took the seat.”

“So, it’s a kind of a relationship that needs to happen at a certain stage, but we don’t know when.”

Featured image credits: Mercedes Benz Media Centre

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