Mercedes could target extraordinary Max Verstappen move with ‘ball in our court’

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen next to the Mercedes logo.

Max Verstappen and Mercedes logo.

Asked whether Max Verstappen could be on the Mercedes radar to replace Lewis Hamilton, team boss Toto Wolff did not say no, stressing they will push for “the best possible” driver combination.

Hamilton broke the internet on Thursday, February 1 when fresh speculation that he was heading to Ferrari this time turned into a confirmed deal.

F1 2024 will be Hamilton’s final season as a Mercedes driver as he then prepares to join forces with the iconic Ferrari team from 2025, making the dream pairing of Formula 1’s most successful driver and team real.

Could Max Verstappen to Mercedes be next F1 bombshell?

Unlike when Nico Rosberg retired just days after winning the 2016 World Championship, Mercedes on this occasion has time on their side to determine the ideal replacement for seven-time World Champion Hamilton.

Wolff said this shock Hamilton development shows that Mercedes could find an “unexpected” driver option crops up for them, so he was asked whether that could be the dominant force of Formula 1, three-time World Champion Max Verstappen? recommends

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Mercedes and Red Bull went head-to-head to secure Verstappen’s signature ahead of him bursting onto the F1 scene, Red Bull winning that battle, but with Wolff declaring “the ball is in our court”, even Verstappen may not be off-limits for eight-time Constructors’ champions Mercedes.

Asked if Verstappen could be on his way to Mercedes, Wolff replied: “We will always try to have the best possible combination in our car and seek out these discussions.

“You can see how quickly the situation can change. At the same time, we respect contracts that exist.

“Drivers always want to be in the fastest car. It’s up to us to demonstrate that we can build the fastest car – not just in the short and medium term, but also in the long term. This will then lead to opportunities. The ball is in our court.”

Dislodging Verstappen from the Red Bull team would be a huge challenge, considering he is under contract until the end of 2028 and firing on all cylinders, having driven the Red Bull RB19 to 19 grand prix victories in his third title-winning season.

But, Wolff said he will not “exclude anyone at any time”, and as Hamilton to Ferrari has shown, we can now never say never when it comes to the F1 driver market.

Read next – Revealed: The remarkable 36-hour timeline behind Lewis Hamilton’s shock Ferrari move