Wolff plays down Verstappen meeting

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has played down the significance of a meeting with Jos Verstappen at his motorhome at the Italian GP – but concedes he is keeping tabs on the future availability of the Dutchman’s son Max.

Wolff plays down Verstappen meeting
Polesitter Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in parc ferme
 Toto Wolff, Executive Director Mercedes AMG F1
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08

After a recent run of reliability problems, Max Verstappen’s long-term future at Red Bull has been thrown into doubt, with him clear that things will need to improve if he is to renew his current deal.

Verstappen is currently committed to Red Bull for 2018 but there are understood to be some options that could allow him to leave as early as 2019.

A chat between his father Jos and Wolff at Mercedes on Friday at Monza fuelled speculation about a potential future deal, but the Mercedes boss insists the chat was just a social one.

“I’ve known Jos for many years,” Wolff told Sky Germany about the meeting. “We have a common friend, Frank. He is on a visit here. So Niki [Lauda] and I sat in the office. Our Dutch friends came along and we had a coffee with them. Not more, not less.”

Asked whether there was any interest in Verstappen as a Mercedes driver in the future, Wolff said: “For next year, no interest in Max Verstappen. He is not available.”

However, well aware about the question marks regarding 2019, Wolff said that Mercedes was keeping an eye on a host of youngsters.

“He is one of the names you have to have on the radar,” he said. “Max is one of the future stars of Formula 1.

"Like many others, like Valtteri [Bottas], like Daniel [Ricciardo]. Max and Esteban Ocon are part of this group of drivers as well.”

Mercedes will keep Valtteri Bottas for 2018 after a strong first campaign for the team, but there remain questions about how long a deal he will get.

Wolff added: “It's all about the details. It's a no-brainer to continue with Valtteri. He has done a really good job this year.

"He's had his lows as well, which he needs to understand. But we couldn't expect more from his first year.”

shares
comments
Italian GP: Post-qualifying press conference

Previous article

Italian GP: Post-qualifying press conference

Next article

Renault won't add fourth engine supply for McLaren

Renault won't add fourth engine supply for McLaren
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021