Toto Wolff And Max Verstappen

Mercedes and Max Verstappen have been arch-rivals for a long time. It was the Dutch racer who played an instrumental role in ending the hegemony of the Silver Arrows. From 2014 to 2021, there was no team that managed to beat the German outfit. They won all the constructor titles in the turbo-hybrid era. However, the Driver’s Championship also saw a dominance of the drivers of the Brackley team during that period. Lewis Hamilton won six championships and more than 80 Grand Prix in the eight years of the turbo-hybrid era. That level of dominance helped him become the most decorated racer of the F1 Motorsport. But on two occasions, Hamilton lost the Driver’s championship in that era. 

At first, in 2016, when his teammate Nico Rosberg narrowly managed to beat the great Briton to win the Driver’s title. Later, in 2021, it was Max Verstappen who broke the winning streak of Hamilton. Since then, the Dutch racer has become the most dominant racer in the sport. He helped Red Bull dethrone Mercedes as the most dominant team in the F1 grid. However, some internal turmoil at Red Bull gave birth to rumors that Max would leave the Austrian team. Since the 2024 Bahrain GP, there have been rumors that Toto Wolff is very close to signing Max Verstappen. 


Is Mercedes Still Planning To Replace Lewis Hamilton With Max Verstappen?

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Max Verstappen Red Bull Handshake
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Max Verstappen Red Bull Handshake Source: PlanetF1

Very early in 2024, Lewis Hamilton announced that at the end of the current season, he will switch to Ferrari. It was a shock for everybody, especially for Toto Wolff. Since then, the Mercedes boss has been looking for an ideal choice for replacing the seven-time champion. And who better than Max Verstappen? Moreover, the internal turmoil that Red Bull is going through has added spice to the rumors that Max can leave Christian Horner’s team soon. However, the reigning and three-time champion mentioned that he wants a peaceful and happy environment. Adding to that, the most important thing for Max Verstappen is performance, and clearly, at this point there’s no better team than Red Bull. 

Moreover, the Dutchman pointed out that money is not a factor for him to change teams, it is performance. On top of that, Max Verstappen has a contract with Red Bull that will expire in 2028. But according to Sky Sports F1, Toto Wolff has not ruled out the rumor of holding a meeting with the Dutch racer to talk about replacing Hamilton at the Silver Arrows. Moreover, the Mercedes boss mentioned that every team boss would do handstands to sign Verstappen. Additionally, Wolff said that he is waiting to see how the Driver’s market develops. 

If Not Max, Then Who Else Can Toto Wolff Sign?

Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Max Verstappen Red Bull
Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Max Verstappen Red Bull Source: FirstSportz

Toto Wolff talked about Carlos Sainz Jr. who obviously is available in the Driver’s market. After all, Lewis Hamilton will replace the Spaniard at the Prancing Horse. On top of that, besides the Red Bull drivers, Carlos had won more races since 2023. Hence, he is in good form and a viable option for Mercedes. 

But Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen will be the key factor in the 2024 Driver’s market for all F1 teams. Moreover, Wolff added that if it was him, then he would not leave Red Bull until 2025. But the Mercedes boss thinks Max is waiting to see which team has the better chance to build the fastest car after the 2026 regulations come into play. 

Stay tuned to Sports News International for more such updates about your favorite F1 team.