JUST-IN: Max Verstappen turned down Mercedes for Red Bull as Lewis Hamilton blocked F1 move

JUST-IN: Max Verstappen turned down Mercedes for Red Bull as Lewis Hamilton blocked F1 move

Verstappen is presently leading the F1 world with Red Bull and is en route to his third world championship in record-breaking fashion, but things could have gone very differently.

Toto Wolff admitted that Max Verstappen, a promising young Formula 1 contender, was passed up by Mercedes.

Red Bull Racing has become associated with Verstappen in recent years.
He made his Formula One debut with sister team Toro Rosso, advanced quickly to the top team, and after a few years of growth, has emerged as the driver to beat on the grid.

He will do so in style as he is on track to win the drivers’ championship for the third year in a row.
Due to Red Bull’s dominance, he is currently riding a record-breaking 10-race winning streak.

However, things could have gone differently.
As he discussed Mercedes’ attempts to sign the Dutchman as a teenager, Wolff said that Verstappen might not have ever competed for Red Bull at all.

Wolff responded when asked if he could have signed Verstappen in the past: “Max was very good in karting, was good in F3, and it was clear that there’s a big one that’s growing.”.

He continued by saying that the reason Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were able to perform well and feel at ease in their race seats was what ultimately drove the Dutchman away.
We spoke with them in the beginning, and Max and [dad] Jos were also involved in a nice discussion, Wolff continued.

“But it was obvious that we couldn’t give him a seat because we already had Lewis and Nico.
While Red Bull was able to offer them the seat with AlphaTauri, or Toro Rosso back in the day, it allowed Max to take the seat despite our support in F2.

As it turned out, a chance did present itself at Mercedes sooner than anticipated.
Following his immediate retirement from the sport after defeating teammate Hamilton to win the 2016 championship, Silver Arrows signed Valtteri Bottas from Williams to take his place.

Verstappen had already committed to Red Bull, so Wolff is unsure if he would have chosen Mercedes if he hadn’t already done so.
But when presented with that hypothetical situation, the Austrian said he would prefer not to waste time speculating about what might have been.

Perhaps, he said, adding, “But, you know.
If I knew where the stock market would be in a year, I could decide whether or not to invest in it.
If we knew what would happen in a year, we would be very content and wealthy.


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