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Toto Wolff

Wolff not ruling out Verstappen talks over Mercedes F1 seat

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has not denied talks between Mercedes and representatives of Max Verstappen will take place later this month.

Wolff Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff has not denied that talks with Max Verstappen will happen in the coming weeks, despite dismissing the rumour that Mercedes was due to meet with representatives of the Red Bull driver on Monday.

In the lead up to the round in Florida, speculation that the Mercedes team principal was due to discuss the Dutchman joining the Brackly-based outfit in a purported €150 million per year swoop gained momentum.

However, according to Wolff that was not the case.

A myriad of factors has led to reports of Verstappen being unhappy at Red Bull, or that he will seek a way out of his 2028 contract early - the most recent being the departure of Adrian Newey from the constructors' champions.

Wolff, meanwhile, has been pulling on the tethers of Red Bull since the start of the year in an attempt to destabilise the team and its star driver.

"There's always plenty of meetings,” Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

“I can't really say about the second driver [at Mercedes].

"I think we've talked about the possibilities. I want to be fair to these guys and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that."

'I wouldn't leave, at least for 2025'

As Verstappen is not a free agent, Mercedes is considering other drivers, including the man being replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz, and its own junior driver, Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

However, the Austrian has made it clear that the Red Bull driver would be the priority choice if he were to become available.

"I think we want to take our time, see where Max's thinking goes, and at the same time, monitor the other drivers," he said.

"Carlos [Sainz] was very strong in Miami again and that's why we are a little bit on an observation mode at the moment."

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