MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 18: Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull Racing and First placed Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 18, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202306181182 // Usage for editorial use only //

Wolff: I wouldn’t rule out Verstappen bringing Newey to Mercedes

Wolff: I wouldn't rule out Verstappen bringing Newey to Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists that “anything is possible” when it comes to Adrian Newey following Max Verstappen to the team next year.

Current Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton surprisingly announced earlier this year that he would be leaving the outfit after 12 years with them, transferring to rivals Ferrari.

This, along with reports of a developing rift between Red Bull Champion Max Verstappen and their Team Principal Christian Horner over continuing allegations of inappropriate behaviour, has opened up rumours that the dominant driver could join the team based in Brackley.

Wolff has already admitted that he “would love to have” Verstappen driving for Mercedes when Hamilton vacates the seat in 2025, but understands that the team haven’t got a car worthy of his talents and acknowledges that it is the Dutchman’s decision to make.

Verstappen has a very strong relationship with Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko, as well as Chief Technical Officer Newey. Former Formula 1 race winner Gerhard Berger has predicted that the 26-year-old will bring Marko and Newey with him wherever he chooses to go if he feels he cannot stay at Red Bull for another season.

Speaking to oe24, Wolff has reiterated his desire to have Verstappen driving for the Silver Arrows. He said: “Every team would love to take Max because he is the strongest driver, that’s logical!

“But as I said, the driver will always try to be in the strongest car. That’s why we have to do our homework beforehand so that the car performs. So Mercedes could become a real alternative for Max”, the boss added.

Can’t rule anything out amidst Horner saga

Wolff: I wouldn't rule out Verstappen bringing Newey to Mercedes

When asked about the possibility of Verstappen snatching Newey away from Red Bull and joining another team on the grid, Wolff continued: “Anything is always possible in this crazy merry-go-round, I wouldn’t rule anything out.

“But we have an excellent technical team with whom I feel comfortable and one hundred percent rightly positioned, even if the lap times don’t reflect that at the moment.”

With regards to Marko he said: “It’s all about Max and his prospects. I don’t know enough about the dynamic between the two of them to be able to judge how important Marko really is for Max.”

No hard feelings for Hamilton

Going back to the issue of the vacant seat at Mercedes from next year, Wolff stressed that he had no hard feelings towards Hamilton for the sudden and unexpected decision.

He went on to say: “In every career there are moments when you want to try something new or should try something new. That’s why I don’t have any bad feelings about Lewis.

“It was just the timing that surprised me, because the season hadn’t started yet. But as it turns out now, it could be a good fit: Unlike us, Ferrari and McLaren have signed their contracts so early that they have more free seats in the coming years”, the Austrian remarked.

If Verstappen is no longer a possibility, Mercedes could turn to a young rookie to partner George Russell at the team. Wolff was asked about the chances of Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Mercedes Junior and Formula 2 driver, of signing a full-time contract to race in F1.

“The young generation is generally very strong. And Kimi is for me the most outstanding of the youngsters.”

Either way, Wolff has plenty of time to make a decision for Mercedes’ 2025 driver lineup. For now the focus remains on the racing; the next race will take place on March 24th for the Australian Grand Prix commencing at 04:00 GMT (15:00 local time).