Toto Wolff shares plan to convince Max Verstappen to quit Red Bull for Mercedes | F1 | Sport

Toto Wolff has explained that Mercedes must ‘do their homework’ and improve their machinery if they are to lure Max Verstappen away from Red Bull. The ongoing drama behind the scenes in the reigning champions’ camp has turned the Dutchman into a realistic option for the team in 2025.

When close ally Helmut Marko’s future was thrown up in the air in Saudi Arabia due to an internal investigation relating to the leaked Christian Horner chats, Verstappen made it clear that he would be willing to walk away should Red Bull fire the Austrian. In the event that he did leave the Milton Keynes-based outfit, Mercedes would be the logical move.

Speculation linking Mercedes to the 26-year-old intensified in Bahrain when his father, Jos Verstappen, was spotted chatting with team principal Wolff in the paddock. The pair had also reportedly conversed at length at the Four Seasons hotel they were staying at for the weekend.

However, if Wolff does hold realistic hopes of replacing Lewis Hamilton with Verstappen, he will need to provide the Dutchman with a car capable of adding to his tally of three Drivers’ Championships. The Silver Arrows had hoped to close the gap to Red Bull in 2024, but after four races they have the third-fastest car alongside McLaren.

Explaining the situation to OE24, Wolff said: “Every team would like to take Max because he is the strongest driver, that’s logical. But the driver will always try to be in the strongest car. That’s why we have to do our homework beforehand so that the car performs. Mercedes could become a real alternative for Max.”

The team principal also explained how the upcoming 2026 engine regulation changes could help the team cut the gap with Red Bull. “There will be completely new regulations from 2026, especially in terms of the engine,” he said.

“That gives us the opportunity to hopefully do as well as we did in 2014. If you can be there early as a driver, that’s obviously an advantage.”

The Mercedes boss then touched on the possibility of bringing Adrian Newey to the team, adding: “Anything is always possible in this crazy merry-go-round, I wouldn’t rule anything out. But we have an excellent technical team with whom I feel comfortable and one hundred per cent correctly positioned, even if the lap times don’t reflect that at the moment.”

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