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Mercedes

Wolff told what Mercedes must do to sign Verstappen

Toto Wolff is keen to sign Max Verstappen for Mercedes, with Gerhard Berger telling him how he can do it.

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Toto Wolff has been told to sign Adrian Newey for Mercedes to land Max Verstappen.

Red Bull's chief technical officer will leave the team by the end of the first quarter of 2025, ending a 19-year association. There has been no announcement as to where he will go next. 

Around the time of Newey's announcement, there were claims it could affect Verstappen, whose own future at Red Bull seemed uncertain at the beginning of the season given the political unrest.

Mercedes boss Wolff then expressed an interest in signing Verstappen to replace Lewis Hamilton, who leaves the Brackley-based squad at the end of this year to join Ferrari. 

Verstappen is now set to stay at Red Bull as Andrea Kimi Antonelli is tipped to take the Mercedes seat.

Former 10-time F1 grand prix winner Gerhard Berger feels that luring Newey could tempt Verstappen to trade Milton Keynes for Brackley. 

"It's a must for every team to want to get him," Berger told Bild of Newey. "If he opted for Mercedes, Verstappen would be there in no time at all. Newey is an absolute genius - where he is, there is success. 

"He has proven that over the last 25 years. At the moment, however, it looks like Newey will end up at Ferrari. 

"If that happens, and I'm assuming it will, a new era of success could begin with team boss Frederic Vasseur, Newey, Charles Leclerc and Hamilton. In my view, this combination could be very difficult for the others to beat."

Verstappen's Red Bull future

Although Verstappen's Red Bull future is not directly linked to Newey, it is to another influential figure.

In Saudi Arabia, Verstappen hinted that if motorsport advisor Helmut Marko was removed from his post, he would consider leaving the team. 

With Marko nearing retirement at age 81, former Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton driver Berger is sure that if Verstappen loses Marko, followed by a dip in Red Bull's fortunes, he will seek to leave.

"Max is certainly in a strong phase of reflection at the moment as to how things will continue with him without his mentor Helmut Marko and technical guru Newey," Berger said.

"Red Bull is certainly the best solution at the moment, but Max will make a tough decision in favour of a better solution as soon as an opportunity arises. 

"If he realises that his car is starting to weaken and he sees advantages elsewhere, he will seize the opportunity. He is driven by performance.

"Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is making an effort for him, but Max knows that his driving strength would probably not be enough to get the Mercedes back on the road to victory in the current situation.

"The car is simply not fast enough, so it can only be down to the technical side. But knowing Toto Wolff's ambition, he will [lead the team] out of its struggles."

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