[adinserter block="13"]

Toto Wolff coy on Verstappen meeting and hints Mercedes ‘observing’ F1 star

The Mercedes boss has admitted he needs to show respect in his pursuit of the Red Bull star to replace Lewis Hamilton

-

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff refused to be drawn on whether the team will move for Max Verstappen after denying meeting him after the Miami Grand Prix – and revealed they are in “observation mode” with one other Formula 1 driver.

Verstappen is contracted to remain with Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season and insists he is intent on staying with the team “at the moment”, having vowed to turn down a huge reported offer from the Silver Arrows.

That could change in 2025 when Lewis Hamilton leaves Mercedes, with the Brackley team looking for a replacement, while Red Bull set for a major internal shake-up following the exit of Adrian Newey.

It was rumoured that the Austrian boss had planned to meet with Verstappen and his representatives in Miami, something that was later denied by Wolff, and he admitted Mercedes need to act appropriately in their pursuit of the three-time world champion.

Max Verstappen ahead of the 2024 Miami Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen’s future remains uncertain. | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“There’s always plenty of meetings. I can’t really say about the second driver [at Mercedes]. I think we’ve talked about the possibilities,” Wolff said, speaking to the written press in Miami, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I want to be fair to these guys [Red Bull] and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that.”

Wolff looking at Verstappen alternative

Mercedes‘ struggles over the past two seasons may not generate confidence that they will be one of the teams competing for titles, which could affect Verstappen’s decision. The eight-time constructors’ champions are yet to secure a podium finish this season amid a number of issues with their W15 car.

However, possible switch has been mooted in time for the new engine regulations in 2026, with Verstappen potentially waiting to see which team has the best chance of success in the new era before deciding whether to see out his contract, which is due to expire in 2028.

Wolff has also suggested he is keeping tabs on Carlos Sainz, who is without a drive for 2025 after being ousted by Ferrari to make way for Hamilton, if they cannot sign Verstappen.

The Spaniard has won one race and finished on the podium twice in five race starts in 2024, and his performances have caught the Mercedes chief’s eye.

“I think we want to take our time, see where Max’s thinking goes, and at the same time, monitor the other drivers,” Wolff added. “Carlos was very strong in Miami again and that’s why we are a little bit on an observation mode at the moment.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Pascal Wehrlein of Porsche during 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Pascal Wehrlein: Shanghai circuit doesn’t suit Formula E

0
Pascal Wehrlein was less than impressed with Formula E’s Shanghai debut following a Shanghai E-Prix determined by energy saving...
Nico Hulkenberg during 2024 Monaco GP qualifying | Haas F1 Team / LAT Images

Both Haas drivers disqualified in Monaco after using non-compliant part

0
Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg have been disqualified from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying classification for...
Charles Leclerc after 2024 Monaco GP Qualifying | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals last-minute issue almost derailed dream Monaco pole positon

0
Charles Leclerc will aim to make it third time lucky at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix having failing to...
Max Verstappen in the garage during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen slams Red Bull ‘go kart’ after painful Monaco GP qualifying

0
Max Verstappen has revealed the extent of his issues with his Red Bull car left him feeling he was...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Monaco GP | McLaren

‘It shouldn’t happen in F1’ – Lando Norris blasts Monaco for mistake that almost...

0
Lando Norris lambasted organisers of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix for a sticker issue that almost dumped him out...
Sergio Perez looks on in qualifying for the 2024 Monaco GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez finds scapegoat for ‘completely disastrous’ Monaco GP Q1 exit

0
Sergio Perez believes he would've reached Q2 if he hadn't encountered traffic on his final Q1 lap, as he...
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton lost for answers after ‘frustrating’ Monaco GP qualifying

0
Lewis Hamilton expressed his "frustration" with Mercedes' qualifying pace and admitted he was unable to explain their lack of...
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner explains where Red Bull struggled after dismal Monaco GP qualifying

0
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has conceded their chances of victory at the Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix...
Charles Leclerc during 2024 Monaco GP during practice | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc denies Verstappen historic pole in breathless Monaco GP qualifying

0
Charles Leclerc will start the Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix at the front of the grid after the...
Oscar Piastri during the 2024 Monaco GP | McLaren

F1 2024 Monaco GP – Qualifying Results

0
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc kept his cool in Qualifying after dominating the weekend so far, and claimed pole position...
- Advertisment -