On the Beyond the Grid podcast Toto Wolff talks about the possibility of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel driving for Mercedes.
There has been a lot of speculation about Max Verstappen’s future after Honda announced its exit from Formula 1 post 2021, and with Red Bull seemingly left without an engine partner.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he doesn’t see Verstappen joining Mercedes.
“The situation around Max doesn’t provide any opportunity now,” said the Austrian.
“He’s bound to Red Bull, I respect his loyalty a lot. I think it’s important for Red Bull to have Max.
“There is a lot of narrative around that and Red Bull picked him up from very early on when he joined Toro Rosso, so the situation is what it is. It’s good for him and good for us.
“Valtteri does a great job and Lewis does a great job for us. They are both at the peak of their performance levels.
“Then we have juniors that are coming up that have been with us for many years and could be the future for us, and this is what we look at.”
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Wolff also implied that a Verstappen and Hamilton’s partnership wouldn’t work, likening it to the strained relationship between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from 2013 until 2016.
“That was very difficult because when you have so much negativity in the room… there was a lot of negativity and it would drag the whole room down.
“We came to a point where we said ‘that’s just not feasible anymore’. We talked about it, but the animosity between the drivers was still there, and much beyond the point that Nico retired.
“That’s why it’s so refreshing that since Valtteri joined, we haven’t had any of that.”
Another name that has been linked to Mercedes is Sebastian Vettel. Before the four-time champion signed with Aston Martin, there were rumblings that Daimler would like to see another German driver in a German car. Wolff thinks Aston Martin will be a good fit for Seb.
“Every driver should feel good with a team. He needs support from the team and that’s what he’s going to get with his new team.
“The momentum is against him at the moment. Once you are in that downward spiral, it is also extremely difficult to get out of it and find your way up.
“I think he can blossom again at Aston Martin because Aston Martin is a fantastic fire.”
The Austrian also says he never considered Vettel for a role with Mercedes.
“We have known each other for a long time, but we have never really talked to each other about what is happening on the track.
“I didn’t talk to Seb about that because I knew we didn’t have clarity for our drivers yet. I am loyal to Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton,” concluded Wolff.