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Toto Wolff

Wolff admits: Verstappen is on Mercedes radar

If Lewis Hamilton decides to call it quits on his racing career, it looks as though Max Verstappen is on Mercedes' radar. Toto Wolff confirmed that, but he also made it clear he will speak with Hamilton first before opening talks with other drivers.

Max Verstappen 2021 filmdag portret
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff made it clear he won't be speaking with other drivers over a potential seat until he speaks with Lewis Hamilton, but he admits Max Verstappen is a young driver that is on everyone's radar.

Both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are on one-year contracts with the Silver Arrows, meaning change could be in the air when it comes to 2022. Wolff reaffirmed his focus is on continuing with Hamilton, though he did leave the door open for Verstappen should things fail to work out with the Brit.

"The symbiosis that we have in the relationship, it's always that we have a mutual understanding of what we want to do in the future," Wolff told the media including RacingNews365.com. "And that will be also the case in the discussions with Lewis going forward.

"Max is certainly an outstanding young driver that will be on everybody's radar in the future, but we are not flirting outside before we have a clear understanding with our two drivers."

Hamilton's contract talks with Mercedes dragged on into 2021 despite assurances from both parties that things would be wrapped up shortly after the 2020 Formula 1 season, and Wolff is keen to make sure that scenario doesn't play out again.

"We have agreed that we want to pick up the discussions much earlier this year, to avoid a situation like we had in 2020 where we ran out of time and were in the uncomfortable position that there is no time left before the beginning of the [next] season," Wolff added.

"That's also why we only did a one-year contract: in order to allow us to discuss the future in racing and outside of racing longer. And with the right amount of time.

"What we've decided is to discuss things much earlier this year, not at the end of the season."


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