Helmut Marko’s ‘ask Toto Wolff’ quip as Max Verstappen to Mercedes rumours continue

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko and a Mercedes badge

Helmut Marko weighs in on Max Verstappen to Mercedes rumours

Helmut Marko has quipped “ask Toto Wolff” when asked if there’s any truth to the rumours linking Max Verstappen to Mercedes.

Although Verstappen sits on top of the Drivers’ Championship standings and is expected to romp, barring reliability disasters, to a fourth World title with Red Bull, reports claiming he could be off to Mercedes linger.

Helmut Marko weighs in on Mercedes’ 2025 shortlist

Although publicly courted by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff who says he would “love” to have the Dutchman race for the Silver Arrows, Verstappen reiterated in Japan that he’s happy where he is.

“From my side, I’m very happy where I’m at,” he told the media, “and we want to keep it that way.”

The rumours though, continue.

Marko was asked by OE24 if there is any truth to the speculation, and replied: “You have to ask Toto Wolff…”

However, Verstappen is not the only driver said to be on Wolff’s shortlist with Sebastian Vettel potentially in the running should the four-time World Champion want to return to the sport.

He’s up against, amongst others, Mercedes’ junior and Formula 2 driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who later this month will test a Formula 1 car for the first time in a private two-day test in Austria.

Marko weighed in on those two options, saying: “Vettel and Antonelli are names with a great past and possibly a great future. But nobody has the level of Max Verstappen.”

Pressed on Vettel, who won his four World titles with Red Bull, he was asked if he could imagine the German returning to F1.

He replied: “He wants to.

“He had a long break now. On the other hand, he is 36 years old, so it’s all a question of motivation. In any case, these are all interesting constellations.”

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‘Both Mercedes and Red Bull can wait to make a decision’

As for Red Bull’s own 2025 driver line-up, it’s not just Verstappen who could be on his way out, Sergio Perez too.

The almost-always under-fire driver has made a good start to the season with two runner-up results in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia where he was second to Verstappen followed by a P5 in Australia.

Asked if Red Bull could extend with Perez, Marko said: “It’s far too early to speculate about that. All of this was triggered by Hamilton’s early decision to go to Ferrari.

“Both Mercedes and Red Bull can wait to make a decision at the moment.”

As for his future with Red Bull, which has been a hot topic amidst the team’s reported power struggle, he said: “What’s already fixed? Let’s see what the near future brings.”

But with Verstappen having a Marko clause in his contract, could Marko leave Red Bull if Verstappen does? “I’m not thinking about that at the moment. But let’s see…”

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