Dakar Rally News: Mercedes Boss Wolff Dismisses Verstappen Talks, Focus on Improving Car

    Brackley, UK – In a recent interview, Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that the German manufacturer is not currently in talks with Max Verstappen over a potential switch to the team in 2025. Wolff’s comments come as the team’s focus remains firmly on improving the performance of their current car.

    The decision by Lewis Hamilton to activate an exit clause in his existing deal has created an open seat at Mercedes for the 2024 season. While Wolff has previously expressed his desire to secure Verstappen’s services for 2025, the reigning Formula 1 champion has made it clear that he intends to see out his contract with Red Bull through 2028.

    “No, there’s no talks taking place at that stage, because I think we need to look at ourselves and on improving the car,” Wolff stated firmly. The Mercedes boss acknowledged that the team’s priority is to continue its progress and consolidate its ability to challenge for podiums and race wins on merit.

    Despite Verstappen’s continued dominance, Wolff is impressed by the Dutchman’s ability to extract the maximum from his car. “I think the McLaren looked very quick,” Wolff said regarding Verstappen’s narrow victory over Lando Norris’ McLaren in the recent Spanish Grand Prix. “How quick? I don’t know. I think that Max always has a little bit in the pocket and can make the difference.”

    With Mercedes protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who is competing in Formula 2, poised to be a potential candidate for the vacant Mercedes seat, Wolff remained coy on the team’s driver plans. “No, no driver decision has been made. I said we want to keep this decision as long as possible because who knows what will happen.”

    As the Dakar Rally and GT racing seasons continue to unfold, Mercedes’ focus remains on improving the performance of their Formula 1 car and consolidating their position as a contender for race wins and championships. The team’s ability to close the gap to the frontrunners will be crucial in their pursuit of future success.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source