Wolff not giving up on plan to lure Verstappen to Mercedes

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference. 23.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Preparation Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he's not giving up on his masterplan to lure Max verstappen away from Red Bull next year.

Despite Verstappen having an existing long term contract in place, Wolff has made no secret of his hope of persuading the Dutch driver to move to Brackley to fill Lewis Hamilton's empty seat next season.

Hamilton announced at the start of the year that he was leaving for Ferrari, leaving a vacancy at Brackley that has been linked to a number of top drivers including Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon and Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

But it's Verstappen that Wolff says he really wants to see join the squad, hoping to exploit internal rifts at the squad that have already seen technical designer Adrian Newey decide to walk away at the end of the season.

Heading into the Monaco Grand Prix, Wolff was honest about what it would take to get Verstappen's signature on a contract.

Toto Wolff details updated Mercedes plan to lure Max Verstappen

“Max is not going to get in a car that is not competitive, and at the moment we are not competitive enough to lure a world champion,” Wolff told the PA News agency.

"It’s important to always have the quickest car, because that makes it a lot easier to think about what is right,” he said.


“At the end of the day, we have a really strong group of people that maybe aren’t talked enough about in the press in general.

"They know what they have to do, they know what they are worth to the team, and they know how important they have been for the current success as well with the car. We just keep on working.

"We have to see how the next months go," he continued. “Look at McLaren. If we can put four tenths on the car [like they have done], we will be very competitive.

"I have to wait for the moment, there is no urgency," he continued, saying he saw no need to be rushed into a premature decision on signing Sainz, Ocon or anyone else right now. “I’m prepared to compromise in certain decisions."

Red Bull managing director Oliver Mintzlaff recently sharply criticised Toto Wolff’s public pursuit of Verstappen, saying that it implies a “lack of respect” by Mercedes towards their arch rivals.

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