Red Bull ‘wobbles’ the ‘trigger’ for Verstappen future rethink – Wolff

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen needs time to consider the future direction of his F1 career following what he has described as Red Bull’s recent internal “wobbles”.

The apparent inner feud inside Red Bull between team principal Christian Horner, Max’s father Jos and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has been among the many headlines to have emerged out of the team over the past few turbulent weeks.

After an investigation into Horner’s ‘inappropriate behaviour’ toward a female Red Bull employee cleared him of wrongdoing, Jos Verstappen suggested the team was ready to “explode” if the Briton remained in charge.

In the meantime, it has also emerged there is a clause in Marko’s contract allowing three-time F1 champion Max Verstappen to leave should the 80-year-old Austrian also depart.

That has placed Mercedes and Aston Martin, in particular, on alert as they are the only two teams who could afford to sign the 26-year-old.

Wolff has previously stated he “would love” to have Verstappen as one of his drivers as a replacement for the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton.

Asked directly on Sky Sports F1 whether Verstappen would be joining Mercedes next season, Wolff smiled and replied: “If I would know!”

Pressed on the subject, he added: “In the end, Max is in the quickest car, and this is what a driver is always going to look at.

“He’s in a fantastic place in his career, and then it will be a decision that is up to him to say, ‘Is it [Red Bull] an environment that I’d like to change?’ If yes, then, ‘Where do I want to go?'”

For 2026, when new power unit regulations come into force, Verstappen could opt for a proven manufacturer in Mercedes as opposed to Red Bull Powertrains, who will be the ‘new kid on the block’ in that field as it produces its own engine for the first time,

Wolff, however, feels Verstappen will be more greatly swayed over a potential exit by the internal political dynamics going on inside Red Bull

“I think the trigger for him maybe thinking about other options is because they [Red Bull] have some wobbles going through the team,” suggested Wolff.

“We have got to give him time to think [about] how he wants to sort out his future without giving it a push from our side.”

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