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Wolff ‘would love’ to have Verstappen as there’s no team who ‘wouldn’t do handstands’ to sign him

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Toto Wolff has admitted that he would “love” to have Max Verstappen at Mercedes should the Dutchman become available, though the team boss also acknowledged that the current priority for the Silver Arrows is to improve their car before thinking too much about the future.

There has been much talk surrounding the driver market of late, with speculation emerging that Verstappen could look to race elsewhere despite having a contract with Red Bull that currently keeps him at the squad through to the end of 2028.

READ MORE: Horner 'certain' Verstappen will see out Red Bull contract until 2028 amid Mercedes rumours

This has seen him linked with a move to Mercedes, given that a seat has become available for 2025 following Lewis Hamilton’s decision to switch to Ferrari.

With Verstappen and Red Bull having proven to be a dominant force in F1 in recent times, Wolff was asked during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend about whether it could be good for the sport if Verstappen were to pursue a new challenge with another team.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff walks in the Paddock

Wolff would welcome the possibility of having Verstappen join Mercedes

“I’d love to have him,” said Wolff, before adding: “But first we need to sort out our car. I think we owe it to our drivers, George [Russell] and Lewis, to improve the car and give them equipment that is good before dreaming about the future next year.”

In terms of when Mercedes intend to decide on who will partner Russell in 2025, Wolff says that the plan is to consider their options carefully as the current season plays out.

READ MORE: Verstappen seals assured victory in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Bearman scores points on debut

“I think we are going to wait,” he explained. “We have a few interesting options, and the more we are able to assess how the season pans out, young drivers with us against slightly older ones – that’s not going to be a decision which we want to take in the next few weeks, it’s rather a few months depending on where it goes.”

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG

Mercedes are continuing to face some issues with their car, but Wolff remains hopeful that they can turn things around

Pushed on whether Verstappen is at the top of his list of potential candidates, Wolff responded: “Let’s word it like this – I think this is a decision that Max needs to take, and there is no team up and down the grid who wouldn’t do handstands to have him in the car.”

In the meantime, Mercedes are focused on continuing to improve their fortunes after a challenging two years. While the squad struggled to move themselves forwards in 2022 and 2023, Wolff has shed light on why he feels more confident that they can achieve it this time around.

READ MORE: ‘We’ve got to fix it’ – Hamilton frustrated by ongoing Mercedes issues as he praises ‘impressive’ Bearman

“It’s a different confidence that I have in the group this time around, because at a certain stage you’re basically ticking all the boxes of the unknown, and where we are today it’s been pretty clear where it points to,” the Team Principal commented.

“It’s just my feeling that we will come [out] on top. Is it good enough to beat Max in a Red Bull? No, it’s not, but at least bringing ourselves back in a position of fighting for podiums and being right there. Yeah, hundred per cent sure we’re going to get there.”

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