Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expresses regret over missed opportunity to sign Max Verstappen in candid admission

Ever felt like you missed out on a golden rooster that would have brought you loads of laurels? You aren’t alone, the Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1, Toto Wolff would accompany you in this feeling. Back in the day, current world champion, Max Verstappen along with  Jos and Huub Rothengatter, his agents at the time, had paid a visit to Toto to discuss Max’s future.

The proposal was to have Max Verstappen drive for the Mercedes Junior team since he was only 16 years old at the time (2015), but unfortunately for the Dutchman, Mercedes did not have a junior team in place at the time. 

Toto Wolff regrets not signing Max Verstappen

Verstappen was taken in as a Red Bull junior driver in the August of 2014, wherein he raced for Toro Rosso (Currently Alpha Tauri) and then went on to get promoted to the Red Bull Racing Team.

Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff has stated that he would have certainly jumped on the opportunity if it wasn’t for the unavailability of a junior team and the fact that both Hamilton and Nico were doing extremely well at the time. 

“We had two drivers that I was extremely happy with, in Nico and Lewis, and when Nico left [at the end of 2016], Valtteri [Bottas] was then the option and Max wasn’t even available.” Stated Toto Wolff in an interview. 

There was also a lack of clarity on the quality of racing brought onto the table by Max Verstappen as his time in Formula 3, keeping aside the series of retirements and mixed results early in the season, only left him with a third position in the final driver standings of 2014 trailing behind champion Esteban Ocon and runner’s up Tom Blomqvist.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Qualifying
Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix

Extending his lead in the driver’s leaderboard by 53 points, Max Verstappen went on to secure his 3rd Grand Slam of his career during the Spanish GP. 

It was smooth sailing for Mad Max as he led every lap of the race with a comfortable edge over time with Lewis Hamilton who was behind. 

(A Grand Slam is secured if a driver achieves pole position in qualifying, wins the race while leading every lap of the race and secures the fastest lap in the race in the same weekend) 

Max Verstappen’s career as well as his pace right now seems too quick and too good to be true. Will he be able to maintain the supremacy over the coming years and dominate the sport just like previous world champions Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher did, only time will tell. 



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