Toto Wolff addresses possibility of Max Verstappen joining Mercedes

Liam Corless
Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until 2028

Toto Wolff said ‘the ball is in our court’ as he discussed the prospect of pulling off a major coup and luring world champion Max Verstappen to Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton’s impending move to Ferrari leaves a free seat at the Brackley-based team, with Mercedes now on the hunt for a teammate for George Russell.

Asked specifically about the chances of Verstappen moving to Mercedes, Wolff said it was down to Mercedes to prove they have the best car in order to tempt drivers to join them.

‘The ball is in our court’

“We will always try to have the best possible combination in our car and seek out these discussions,” Wolff said. “You can see how quickly the situation can change. At the same time, we respect contracts that exist.

“Drivers always want to be in the fastest car. It’s up to us to demonstrate that we can build the fastest car – not just in the short and medium term, but also in the long term. This will then lead to opportunities. The ball is in our court.”

Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until 2028 but that deal is likely to include a break clause in the event of a downturn in the team’s performance.

That being said, a move to Mercedes for Verstappen remains hugely unlikely given his strong current relationship with Red Bull and his previous rivalry with Mercedes and Hamilton, which came to a crescendo at the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko poured cold water on suggestions an unlikely union between Verstappen and Mercedes could be on the cards.

“Toto will try, but he will not be successful,” Marko told “Max has a good memory and has not forgotten Mercedes’ accusations. The crash at Silverstone in 2021 and the season finale in Abu Dhabi are examples of this.”

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About The Author

Liam has 10 years' experience in journalism, having previously operated as the Manchester Evening News' associate football editor, and as an editor for the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Daily Star.