Toto Wolff questions Red Bull’s ‘1,000 per cent’ claim over Max Verstappen’s F1 future

Michelle Foster
Toto Wolff, Max Verstappen, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff continues to publicly court Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff has warned Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff against claiming Max Verstappen will “1,000 per cent” be a Red Bull driver next season as life only goes to “100 per cent”.

Although Verstappen has a Red Bull contract that runs through to the end of the 2028 season, and has said several times he doesn’t see a reason to change teams, Wolff continues to publicly court the reigning World Champion.

Toto Wolff doubles down with ‘see where Max’s thinking goes’ comment

That hasn’t gone down well with Mintzlaff who recently told the Austrian to focus on Mercedes’ problems, as they have “enough of those”, and to leave his driver alone.

Wolff was asked about his comments in the wake of the Miami Grand Prix, but revealed he knew nothing of it.

“I don’t know what the guy is commented on,” he told the media in his post-race debrief. “There’s no relevance to me.”

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one eye on Red Bull’s Verstappen.

“I think we want to take our time,” he said of deciding his 2025 line-up, “see where Max’s thinking goes and at the same time monitor the other drivers. We’re a little bit on observation mode at the moment.”

Asked if Verstappen was key, he replied: “I think for all of the teams here he is. As I’ve said before, I don’t think he should leave in 2025.

“He is the top driver at the moment and has to make a decision. Perhaps there is not even a decision to make and things will stay as they are. But that is no guide for us.”

He though, denied there was a Monday appointment with the Dutchman, saying: “I can’t comment too much. I’m just what I can say is, there is no meeting on Monday.”

He also wouldn’t answer when asked if a meeting was taking place ‘on any other day of the week’.

That, though, wasn’t the Red Bull chief’s only comment about Verstappen of late as Sky Deutschland reported to Wolff that Mintzlaff said Verstappen would “1,000 per cent” be a Red Bull driver next season.

Wolff replied to that: “1,000 per cent? I wouldn’t make such a statement. Because in life there is only 100 per cent. There is no more. It is redundant.”

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Mintzlaff’s “1,000 per cent” comment came in the wake of an interview he gave Bild where he told Wolff to leave Verstappen alone.

“I understand the pressure Toto Wolff, and perhaps other teams, are under after years of being behind,” said the CEO.

“But I think Wolff should focus on his own problems. He has enough of those. And it also has something to do with respect when you keep talking about other teams’ personnel. That’s not appropriate.”

He added: “As I said before, Max wants the fastest car and we have it. Max wants to be World Champion and, with us, he has the best chance.

“Max is a loyal guy. He knows that Christian and Helmut have always given him their trust. He appreciates that. Moreover, Red Bull is just a great brand with which he can identify excellently.

“So there are many reasons for him to stay.”

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