Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff remains tight-lipped on the rumours linking Max Verstappen to Mercedes.
However, he refused to deny the speculation regarding Mercedes’ interest in the Dutchman as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.
In an interview with Motorsport.com Italy, Wolff said, “Of course we always look at the drivers who could sit in a Mercedes in the future.
“Max is definitely a fantastic star of the future, but he is not the only one. I see a group of really good young drivers who are not yet in the cars with which they can win. From that point of view, it is good to see how they develop.”
It is easy to see why Verstappen is a major priority for Mercedes. Hamilton and Verstappen are the two top drivers of F1 today. This season, only the two of them have won any Grand Prix that has taken place. The early race for the WDC has them pitted against one another.
Given his age, pace and ability, there is no doubt constructors would scramble to earn his signature in the future.
Wolff was quick to defend his current driver, Valtteri Bottas, who is having a shaky start to his season. However, he admitted he has one eye on the future of Mercedes.
“Valtteri is our driver and I will always be loyal to our drivers and not speculate about the future,” Wolff assured.
“At the same time, there is of course an obligation, how should I best put it, to shape the plans for the future. With this in mind, we have to go through all the options for both cars.”
Bright future ahead
With Esteban Ocon and George Russell signed as Mercedes juniors, the future is in good hands. Wolff is in agreement with this opinion.
“With Esteban and George, we have two Mercedes juniors who play a certain role, and we also keep an eye on other young drivers who are developing strongly. But as of today I only care about two drivers and they are Valtteri and Lewis.”
The hot seat of Mercedes-Benz is probably the most wanted one in F1 today. As such, the team will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing replacements. The sport’s line-up of young drivers have never been more stacked, and it is a golden era for the sport.