Jul.3 - Toto Wolff is determined to keep his teenage protege Andrea 'Kimi' Antonelli on tenterhooks as he leaves a potential race seat wide open for Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes boss says he didn't believe Verstappen's "yes" in Austria last week when the triple world champion was asked if he was sure he remained committed to Red Bull for 2025 and beyond.

"He couldn't say anything else, could he?" Wolff told motorsport-total.com this week. "They had to force that answer out of him."

However, he admitted that what he perceived as a slightly non-committal answer from Verstappen doesn't mean he'll be at the wheel of a Mercedes in 2025.

When asked if he would 'put his hand in the fire' to predict that Verstappen will still be at Red Bull beyond this season, Wolff smiled: "I would put my hand in the fire that Max will be in Formula 1 next year."

But that doesn't mean the Mercedes boss thinks he will be preparing a set of silver overalls for Verstappen over the winter period.

"No. There is no reason for him to do that," Wolff admitted. "Why would he?" he added, confessing that Mercedes does not yet have a car fast enough to attract the 26-year-old Dutchman.

"But 2026 is the year in which many things will change. I think it could be attractive to drive for us then," said Wolff. "But whether Max will do that and whether he can get out of his contract, I don't know."

Wolff, however, is in the comfortable position of having 17-year-old Antonelli as the perfect 'plan A' for 2025 - whilst having the luxury of not actually confirming the deal until as late as possible.

"I would have liked to have chosen Carlos Sainz," Wolff admits, "because he is very underrated and he works hard.

"But I don't think he can wait as long as we need, because we might not make a decision until November."

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6 F1 Fan comments on “Wolff Still Questions Verstappen's Future and Keeps Mercedes Seat Open

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    Once again, the matter is very clear, i.e., they'll wait until November at the very latest & if they still can't lure Max, they'll finally announce Antonelli.

  2. Blo

    All mischief making by Toto. There is no way that he would sign the Verstappen family but it amuses him to let them think that he would.

  3. Donalf

    To be honest I don't think Toto is man enough to handle Max, Christian seems to manage to a degree but what we have here on track is a pedigree, don't want to be beaten, "Rottweiler"

  4. shroppyfly

    Totos putting so much on 26, completely ignoring that Honda has the best engine now , and could have in 26, so based on that why wouldnt Max go to Aston Honda ...!!, plus Audi engineers with the racing brands+engineers they have + an equal engine budget to Merc, they can be as good as Merc or better, what am I saying, oh yeah Torgers talking bollox..!


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