Toto Wolff Explains ‘Lengthy’ Conversation with Jos Verstappen as Hunt for Max Verstappen Continues

Toto Wolff has clarified that, despite his renewed interest in signing Jos Verstappen’s son, Max Verstappen, to replace the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton, their chats during the Austrian Grand Prix were “nothing serious.”

During the second part of the triple header at the Red Bull Ring, Wolff and Verstappen Sr. were seen chatting despite the ongoing conflict between the Dutchman and his son’s employers over the pre-race classic cars parade.

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But when discussing his talks with Verstappen Sr., Wolff told OE24 that “[They] were] nothing special.” We are similar when it comes to racing and have previously known each other from our days as racing drivers.

As Kimi Antonelli is waiting in the wings as an insurance policy and Hamilton is scheduled to race for Ferrari next year, Mercedes team chief Wolff is free to go all out in his attempt to entice Verstappen to Brackley in 2025.

The Austrian is hopeful that Verstappen’s departure from the Milton Keynes-based team will be prompted by the continuous unrest at Red Bull and Mercedes’s rapid ascent in the development race.

Red Bull team chemistry is suffering as a result of Verstappen’s father’s rants. The 52-year-old and team principal Christian Horner have been engaged in a verbal spat for a while; the most recent outburst occurred in Austria when the father accused his son’s boss of trying to get him taken out of the classic car parade.

According to Verstappen Sr., “You know, I think it’s a bit pathetic that he’s behind it to not have me in that car,” GPblog reported. ‘I’m not doing it, who cares?’ I think to myself. It should be good because it’s for the fans. He’s too young to be playing that game, though. He’s welcome to play that game if that’s what he wants.”

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Up until recently, the stark difference in performance between Verstappen’s current team and Mercedes has been the primary obstacle preventing him from leaving his present company for Mercedes. The Silver Arrows had only managed two podium results going into the Austrian Grand Prix.

But, Mercedes made it back-to-back victories as Lewis Hamilton held off Verstappen’s challenge to snap a 56-race winless skid in front of an ecstatic Silverstone crowd on Sunday. This came after George Russell grabbed a smash-and-grab victory in Spielberg.

That victory, which came about purely through speed as opposed to Russell’s victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, signaled Mercedes’ return to the lead group and will greatly enhance Wolff’s chances of enticing the three-time world champion to Brackley the following season.