Max Verstappen to Mercedes? Wolff meets Jos and admits ‘anything is possible’

Could internal tensions lead to Max Verstappen leaving Red Bull?


The Formula 1 world is rife with speculation following a meeting between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull‘s three-time world champion Max Verstappen.

This rendezvous, captured by journalists in the aftermath of Verstappen’s commanding victory at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, has ignited rumours of a potential seismic shift in the driver market for the 2025 season.

Wolff‘s intriguing remarks to the media, suggesting that Lewis Hamilton’s replacement could present an opportunity for a bold move, initially sparked speculation around rising stars and seasoned veterans alike. However, attention quickly turned to Verstappen, despite his long-term commitment to Red Bull given his contract runs until 2028.

“I’ve known Jos for 25 years, through ups and downs, and I simply congratulated him on his son’s achievements,” Wolff told the waiting press.

When asked directly about the possibility of Max moving to Mercedes in 2025, Wolff initially pretended not to understand, then smiled and said: “Anything is possible.”

The Wolff-Verstappen meeting, especially given the historical frostiness following the contentious 2021 Silverstone incident involving Lewis Hamilton and Max, suggests a thawing of relations or, more provocatively, the early stages of a groundbreaking negotiation.

Wolff‘s non-denial of the possibility of Verstappen joining Mercedes, accompanied by a meaningful smile, adds fuel to the speculative fire.

Why would Max Verstappen leave Red Bull?

The context of these rumors is a reported internal divide within Red Bull Racing, exacerbated by the fallout from allegations against Christian Horner and his subsequent investigation.

A faction within Red Bull, described as the “Austrian side,” reportedly views the situation as a critical juncture, potentially leveraging Verstappen‘s departure as a catalyst for change within the team’s leadership dynamics.

This internal strife, set against the backdrop of Verstappen‘s seemingly unwavering loyalty to Red Bull, presents a complex narrative.

According to F1-Insider, Max Verstappen is reportedly very concerned by the current situation at Red Bull, far more than he is letting on with his media-savvy statements

Verstappen’s brief post-race interactions, favouring Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey over Horner and Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya, are interpreted by some as indicative of the reigning world champion’s stance on the matter.

As the F1 circus heads towards the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the paddock awaits further developments and prospect of Verstappen in Mercedes attire is tantalising for fans and pundits alike.

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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