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Max Verstappen

Wolff: Mercedes ‘homework’ could lure Verstappen

Amid suggestions that Max Verstappen could be in contention for a Mercedes Formula 1 seat, Toto Wolff has not ruled out the possibility.

Verstappen Saudi
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has stated Mercedes' “homework” could convince Max Verstappen to join the team.

The Brackley-based squad is in search of a replacement for seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who will depart for Ferrari next year.

Amid a period of unrest at the Red Bull team, it has been suggested that Max Verstappen could exit the squad going forward.

The 26-year-old currently has a contract in place until the end of 2028 but RacingNews365 understands that a clause exists that would allow Verstappen to depart in the event of Helmut Marko's exit.

Verstappen has pledged his loyalty to Marko amid a turmoil-filled number of weeks at the Red Bull organisation, with Max's father Jos calling for Team Principal Christian Horner's farewell after an investigation into the Briton.

A Red Bull employee, who has since been suspended, made allegations against Horner before he was cleared following questioning from an external lawyer.

With new technical regulations coming into play in 2026, which could usurp the grid's pecking order, Wolff suggested it presents an opportunity for Mercedes to poach Verstappen.

“Every team would like to take Max because he is the strongest driver, that's logical,” Wolff told OE24.

“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.”

A chance to sign Newey?

The 2026 technical regulations include a major rework of the power units, marking the biggest change since the turbo-hybrid engines were introduced in 2014.

Mercedes sprang out of the gates in top form at the time and was unbeaten in championships until Verstappen's maiden Drivers' title in 2021.

Wolff is looking to a similar gain in two years' time as Mercedes looks to lift itself from a slump in form.

“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.”

When asked about the possibility of bringing renowned car designer Adrian Newey to Mercedes from Red Bull, Wolff did not shy away from the possibility.

“Anything is always possible in this crazy merry-go-round, I wouldn't rule anything out,” he said.

“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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