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Toto Wolff reveals the reason why he couldn't give Max Verstappen a seat at Mercedes, he'll be kicking himself

Toto Wolff reveals the reason why he couldn't give Max Verstappen a seat at Mercedes, he'll be kicking himself

Max Verstappen could have been driving for Mercedes

Toto Wolff has revealed why he couldn’t give Max Verstappen a Formula 1 seat at Mercedes.

Since winning on his Red Bull debut back in 2016, Verstappen has gone on to become a two-time F1 world champion.

The Dutchman is well on course to clinch his third successive title in 2023 as he continues to dominate the rest of the grid.

However, things could have gone very differently had Wolff been able to offer him a drive at Mercedes.

As per the Daily Mirror, the Mercedes team boss told F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast: “Max was very good in karting, was good in F3, and it was clear that there's a big one that's growing.

“We talked to them in the initial phases, and it was a nice discussion with [dad] Jos and with Max involved as well.”

Wolff added: “But it was clear that we couldn't give him a seat because we had Nico and we had Lewis. We offered the support in F2 but, since Red Bull was able to offer them the AlphaTauri seat, or Toro Rosso back in the day, it got Max into the seat.”


Wolff was then asked if Mercedes could have lured Verstappen to the team had he not signed for Red Bull when Nico Rosberg retired in 2016.

He said: “Maybe. But, you know... if I would know where the stock market is next year, I would decide to invest in it or not. We would be very happy and rich people if we would know what happens 12 months on.”

Verstappen’s success on the track has also brought him success off the circuit.


Ahead of the recent Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, he became the face of Heineken’s ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ campaign, which is to promote the brand’s 0.0 range.

Verstappen stars in the campaign which is aimed to promote responsible drinking.

So far in the 2023 season, Verstappen has won 12 of the 14 races, with Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez winning the other two.

F1 will return this weekend with the Singapore Grand Prix, which will take place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 17.

Featured Image Credit: Getty/Sky Sports

Topics: Formula 1, Mercedes, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing