Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has ruled out Max Verstappen as a potential option to join the Silver Arrows from Red Bull.
With Lewis Hamilton’s future with Mercedes sound and secure, all eyes continue to be on which driver will be his team-mate for the 2022 season and beyond.
It has been a long, drawn-out battle between current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, looking to extend his stay for a sixth season, and George Russell, who is on the books at the Silver Arrows and is coming to the end of an initial three-year agreement with Williams.
As the wait for a definitive answer and the deliberations continue, Wolff was asked if there was any lingering temptation to approach Verstappen – something the Mercedes boss has done before.
But, Wolff has ruled out that possibility and said the top of the driver market outside of Mercedes looks pretty stable.
“I think that Verstappen and his entourage are very happy where they are,” Wolff said, as quoted by GPFans.
“Red Bull is their team and is their home, and why not keep it like that? I think we have our plans with our drivers, and Ferrari has a great line-up, and Lando Norris at McLaren looks pretty settled, so I think the trajectory is set.
“We’re not looking for a driver.”
Disappointing to have two races in a row so much bad luck. I tried to make the best of it, but with our damaged car it was a very difficult race. We will bounce back after the summer break ⚔️ Thank you for your support, great to see the Orange Army out there again 🔸 #HungarianGP pic.twitter.com/7eS8nDxh6U
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) August 1, 2021
Even though there is a suggestion of a delay to Mercedes deciding between Bottas and Russell for 2022, Wolff said the summer break – now all but over with the Belgian Grand Prix coming up this weekend at the iconic Spa circuit – would be used to work towards the answer we are all waiting to hear.
“We want to take the decision in the summer [break],” Wolff added.
“There are a variety of opinions also within the team and the Daimler board, and we just need to stick our heads together and say, ‘Okay, what is everybody thinking?'”