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Toto Wolff Admits Mercedes F1 Lacks Pace

Wolff: Mercedes F1 Not Competitive Enough for Verstappen

25/05/2024

Toto Wolff acknowledges Mercedes’ current lack of competitiveness to attract Max Verstappen, but remains hopeful for future improvements.

Toto Wolff has acknowledged that Mercedes F1 faces a tough challenge in its bid to lure Max Verstappen away from Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton’s surprising decision to leave Mercedes and join Ferrari next season has left a vacant seat at Mercedes alongside George Russell.

Besides Verstappen, Mercedes Protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli Is the Team’s Top Choice to Replace the Seven-Time World Champion, but Wolff Is Keen to Avoid Adding Pressure on the 17-Year-Old Italian, Who Is Competing in His First Formula 2 Campaign.

Wolff has openly admitted that he would “love” to take advantage of the turmoil at Red Bull, which has been embroiled in controversy surrounding team principal Christian Horner since the start of the season, by poaching Verstappen.

However, Wolff is aware that it is challenging to attract the triple world champion given Mercedes’ current lack of competitiveness.

“Max will not get into a car that isn’t competitive, and at the moment, we are not competitive enough to attract a world champion,” Wolff acknowledged to PA News during the Monaco Grand Prix.

“But we have to see how the next few months unfold. We have a plan in place, and the engineers are confident this time that the direction is correct. Look at McLaren. If we can gain four-tenths on the car, we will be very competitive. I need to wait for the right moment to select our driver. There is no urgency.”

Wolff had previously spoken positively about Carlos Sainz but insisted that he couldn’t offer him something quickly.

“Carlos wants to secure his future. Too bad for us, but I am willing to make compromises on some decisions.”

The Austrian thus appears committed to the strategy of “Verstappen as a priority, otherwise Antonelli.”

Toto Wolff Admits Mercedes F1 Lacks Pace. Toto Wolff Admits Mercedes F1 Lacks Pace

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