Staggering salary numbers reported as Mercedes attempt to lure Max Verstappen from Red Bull

Michelle Foster
A close-up shot of a shocked Max Verstappen with a prominent Mercedes logo alongside him

Max Verstappen to Mercedes? Shocking as it may be, something seems to be brewing

Mercedes have reportedly tabled a staggering €150m offer to entice reigning World Champion Max Verstappen to Brackley, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world.

But whether that’s for 2025 or ’26, the report doesn’t say.

‘Mercedes wants to offer Max Verstappen €150m per year’

Despite winning almost everything on the track, Verstappen’s Red Bull future is in doubt following the team’s off-track saga.

Said to be in the midst of a power struggle, earlier this year team principal Christian Horner was investigated over inappropriate behaviour while motorsport advisor Helmut Marko was drawn into the mix when he was investigated as the potential source of the leaks.

But while that’s gone quiet in the news cycle, it is by no means resolved.

So much so Verstappen’s team are considering his options, especially if design guru Adrian Newey leaves the team.

The only question seems to be 2025 or wait for the new engine regulations and cars in 2026.

According to leading Austrian publication, OE24, Mercedes are ready to pounce on the uncertainty and they’ll do so with a mega-mega-millions offer.

‘Mercedes wants to sign the reigning F1 World Champion and make Max Verstappen the highest-paid athlete in the world,’ read the report.

‘Crazy! The Dutchman is expected to earn 150 million euros per season. Including bonuses.

‘Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff really wants the 26-year-old to join the Silver Arrows.

‘In addition, according to the wishes of CEO Ola Källenius and multi-billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the flying Dutchman should also receive a contract as a brand ambassador for the company if he ends his career.’

But sweetening the pot even further, the claim has also been made that Mercedes have made an offer for Marko, too, with Verstappen linking his future to the Austrian’s.

‘Mercedes’ plan also includes another hammer,’ claims OE24, ‘not only Verstappen would be steered away from Red Bull. Mastermind and RB Motorsport director Helmut Marko also receives an offer from his arch-rival.

‘As a reminder: Verstappen has a clause in his Red Bull contract according to which he can leave the team if Helmut Marko is no longer with the Bulls.

‘Spicy! There will be a meeting between Verstappen and Mercedes at the next Grand Prix in Miami.’ recommends

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This reported deal, which must be taken with a huge amount of salt, would shatter F1 pay records as it is more than double Verstappen’s current salary at Red Bull, believed to be around $55m, and beats Lewis Hamilton’s estimated $45m per season with Mercedes.

It would though be behind Hamilton’s reported $446m Ferrari bill, but that is one that stretches far beyond his Formula 1 driving duties with the Scuderia.

According to French publication Sportune, the terms agreed to by Hamilton reportedly include a pay packet just north of $87m for 2025, with the option to extend for 2026.

A quarter of that will go into funding Mission 44, while Elkann has offered to create a joint-investment fund via Ferrari’s parent brand Exor, worth over $272m, where Hamilton would serve as the ambassador for his portfolio.

OE24 claims Verstappen’s Mercedes salary would also include post-racing ambassador duties.

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