Toto Wolff: Max Verstappen is our first pick, but we have three more options

"It’s the kind of relationship that needs to happen at a certain stage."- Wolff told media talking about Verstappen as an option for 2025

by Sead Dedovic
Toto Wolff: Max Verstappen is our first pick, but we have three more options
© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff is thinking about the future and considering alternatives after Lewis Hamilton leaves the team. After the race in Australia, which was disappointing for Mercedes, Wolff confirmed in an interview with Fox Sports that he is interested in Max Verstappen, and hopes that at some point in the future, the Dutchman will become part of Mercedes.

It’s the kind of relationship that needs to happen at a certain stage. But we don’t know when.”- he said, as quoted by Planet F1!

Wolff confirmed that Verstappen is his first choice after the departure of Lewis Hamilton. The performances of the Dutchman impress everyone, including Toto Wolff, who is aware of what Verstappen can give to this team. Wolff did not want to rule out the possibility that there are other drivers whom he is considering as options for the future. However, their current priority is to focus on correcting the mistakes in the car that are causing them problems.

"Yes, I mean, you see what his performance levels are. But I wouldn’t want to discount the other ones too.

I think we’ve got to look at ourselves and [ask] what is it we can do with this car. Then it becomes much easier, whoever drives the second car, it’s become much easier for George [Russell] because he has the potential of being a World Champion and so much more.

It’s the team’s problem to solve really, rather than looking for a silver bullet with an amazing driver.”- Toto Wolff continued.

Wolff stresses that with the current car, even Max Verstappen would not be able to achieve a better result.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Chris Graythen / Getty Images

W15 did not meet the expectations of the fans, so they intend to give their best in the coming weeks and raise the level of their performances. The Mercedes boss wants to give Verstappen a car with which he could dominate and make great results.

“No, I think he’s extraordinary, but we would give him a car that’s a handful, and difficult to set up and drive,” he said.

“I’d rather make that step and be out there and say, ‘This is a car you could drive because it’s also going fast’.”

Toto Wolff has expressed his intention to take his time in deciding who will replace Lewis Hamilton. He predicts making a decision around midsummer, citing the plenty of potential candidates available. This hesitation allows him to entirely assess various options, going from young talents to seasoned veterans. Wolff is keen on keeping a close eye on the market before making a final commitment.

From season to season we have the opportunity to see more and more talents, who have the intention to make a breakthrough and great things in the world of F1. It will be interesting to see what decision Wolff and the rest of the team will make. There are several options, but only one will get the Mercedes seat.

Toto Wolff reveals whether Russell will be part of the team next season and the options he has

Toto Wolff has confirmed there is no chance for George Russell to lose his seat next season, considering how long he has been with the team. Furthermore, Wolff believes in Russell's qualities and considers him the right person for Mercedes.

George Russell
George Russell© Clive Rose / Getty Images Sport

The Mercedes boss has confirmed that the empty seat will also depend on Max Verstappen's form. Mercedes has several young drivers in mind who could make a breakthrough this season. One of them is Kimi Antonelli, a Formula 2 junior. It's crucial for him not to feel pressured, as it is the least he needs at this stage of his career.

Mercedes boss expects Antonelli to develop in the right direction and become a star. Experienced Fernando Alonso is one of the options, as confirmed by Wolff. 

Carlos Sainz's victory in the last race seems to have sparked the imagination of Mercedes executives, and Toto confirmed that Sainz is also one of the options. It will be a tough task, but also an interesting one. Mercedes does not want to leave things to chance and hopes that at least from next season on, they could resemble the team that once dominated the F1 scene.

It is to be hoped that this season can be more interesting than the previous one, given that Max Verstappen dominated from race to race. Already halfway through the season, one could feel that the Dutchman is the new champion.

This season is very reminiscent of the previous one, but the race in Australia and Verstappen's DNF changed the opinion of the fans. Ferrari is emerging as one of the teams that could fight with Red Bull for the championship.

Toto Wolff Max Verstappen