Mercedes chairman flirts with Max Verstappen: He’d look good in silver

Mercedes renew their quest to sign the world champion as a replacement for the departing Lewis Hamilton

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One of the most important figures within Mercedes AMG, Ola Kallenius, has declared Max Verstappen “would look good in silver” as Mercedes look to sign Verstappen following a frustrating 2024 Spanish Grand Prix for Red Bull.

Kallenius, who serves as the Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AMG, was next to Toto Wolff for the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the Silver Arrows ramp up their charm offensive to sign the world champion once again.

After trying to court the championship leader to replace Lewis Hamilton from 2025, it seems as though they’ve now switched their attention to penning his name for 2026 as Mercedes seem very confident in their power unit for the next set of F1 regulations.

“The best drivers want to be in the best cars,” Kallenius said to Sky Deutschland. “And our job is to put together the best possible package. 2026? The cards will be reshuffled, and Max would look good in silver as well…”

Kallenius isn’t the only one calling for Verstappen to swap Austria for Germany, Milton Keynes for Brackley. as team principal Toto Wolff also waded in on the possibility of Mercedes signing Verstappen.

Ola Kallenius with Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards | Mercedes
Ola Kallenius with Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards | Mercedes

Whilst Wolff did admit his team is lacking performance right now, this is not news to the paddock and he warned that if they return to anything like the all-conquering force between 2014-2020 then Verstappen will think about a switch.

“[Christian] Horner says I can only fight for Max. If he says so… Let’s see what happens,” Wolff said to Sky Italia. “Can this performance convince him? Yes, I’ve always said that we have to work on our car and push to be competitive.

“If the car is good, all good drivers want to come to us. Today our priority is to work for us, Lewis and George [Russell], to finish the season on a high level. Then let’s see if the car looks fast to win a world championship, Max will think about it.”

Red Bull and Mercedes team principals Christian Horner and Toto Wolff pose for a photo in the paddock after the season-ending 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull and Mercedes team principals Christian Horner and Toto Wolff pose for a photo in the paddock after the season-ending 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner hits back at Mercedes threat to Verstappen

Despite Verstappen being frustrated with Red Bull’s lack of progress as far as development is concerned, as they slip slowly but surely into the clutches of McLaren and Ferrari, fighting for a race win is still better than Mercedes’ predicament in 2024.

That’s something his boss reminded him of as he is contracted to Red Bull until 2028, although there are reports he has get-out clauses that could allow him to sign for Mercedes.

The Dutchman currently leads the drivers’ championship by 69 points from Lando Norris after taking his seventh win of the season, and he’s effectively winning the constructors’ championship on his own with Red Bull holding a slender 70-point lead as Sergio Perez languishes behind both Ferrari cars.

“Max is happy at Red Bull,” Horner said, hitting back at Mercedes in Barcelona. “He has won 70% of the GPs this year and is leading the world championship. Sometimes people try to destabilize the team with statements like that.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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