‘Perfect’ option for Max Verstappen named amidst Red Bull drama

Michelle Foster
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Ralf Schumacher believes Max Verstappen and Toto Wolff would be the “perfect” mix amidst rumours the Dutchman could leave Red Bull.

Following on from the Christian Horner investigation, in which Max Verstappen backed his team boss as an “incredible team boss” but wouldn’t delve further, the Dutchman threw his full support behind Helmut Marko when the motorsport director’s position was under threat.

Toto Wolff and Max Verstappen would be ‘perfect’ together

Making it abundantly clear that his future with the team was linked to Marko’s, Verstappen even has a clause in his contract linking his future to Marko’s.

PlanetF1.com understands that a contract clause, inserted into Verstappen’s contract that allows him to leave if Marko’s tenure ends, does exist.

And, it was inserted without the knowledge of Horner or other senior members of the parent company – achievable through Marko’s position as a director of Red Bull Racing.

The clause has opened the door for Mercedes to make it clear they would “love” to sign the Dutchman, Toto Wolff saying any team would do “handstands” for Verstappen.

Former F1 driver Schumacher believes reports of a potential move to Mercedes are more than just rumours if Verstappen doesn’t want to stay on at Christian Horner’s Red Bull team.

“The chances are great,” he told Sport1.de, “because where should Verstappen go if he no longer wants to stay at Red Bull?

“Ferrari is closed. Audi is still too far away from being competitive so that leaves Mercedes.

“I also believe that Max, with his natural, honest nature, would fit in very well with Mercedes. It would be perfect for Toto.”

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But swapping Red Bull for Mercedes would not be without risks.

“Mercedes is too far away for that at the moment [to win],” said Schumacher. “For the third year in a row, Toto Wolff often seems resigned during interviews these days.

“Somehow the Mercedes technicians still haven’t understood the new vehicle concept.

“Even if Max is really – as suspected – 0.3 seconds faster than the rest, it wouldn’t be enough to win at the moment.

“But it would make everything more exciting, without question.”

Verstappen and his father Jos have known for Wolff for many years and while there was a falling out after the 2021 British Grand Prix, that appears to be water under the bridge.

Mercedes, meanwhile, are short a driver for next year’s championship after Lewis Hamilton sensationally signed with Ferrari.

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