“Lately Toto Has Been Really Nice”: Max Verstappen Calls Out Wolff’s Game Over Latest Compliment

“Lately Toto Has Been Really Nice”: Max Verstappen Calls Out Wolff’s Game Over Latest Compliment
Credits: IMAGO PanoramiC, IMAGO Eibner

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has been all praises for Max Verstappen recently. The Austrian has made it clear that if the Dutchman makes himself available in 2025, the 26-year-old will be his first choice to sign as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement. Verstappen seems to have been taking note of Wolff’s recent remarks as he called out the Mercedes boss after his Japanese GP win.

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Wolff most recently claimed that Verstappen will cruise to his fourth title and that no one will catch him this season. When asked about what he made of the 52-year-old’s remarks, Verstappen said, “Lately Toto has been really nice. Saying lots of nice things about me”!

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Verstappen interestingly also gave his reply with a smirk on his face. The three-time champion is well aware that he is arguably the most sought-after driver on the current grid because of the way he has dominated the past few seasons.

With 22 wins in his last 26 races since the start of last season, Verstappen has perhaps established a level of dominance that will never be matched in F1. Only two other drivers have won a race in this period: Sergio Perez (2) and Carlos Sainz (2).

Interestingly, it were both these two drivers who joined Verstappen on the Japanese GP podium. While Sainz is also available on the 2025 driver market after Ferrari decided to replace him with Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff would still prefer to sign Verstappen if he was given the choice.

Max Verstappen could take advantage of Toto Wolff’s desperation

With Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season, Toto Wolff finds himself in a difficult position. The Austrian will have to make a crucial decision over the next few months about who he would want to replace Hamilton with. While Wolff’s preferred choice is Max Verstappen, the ball seems to be in the Dutchman’s court.

The 26-year-old already has a long-term contract with Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season and has no reason to leave the team, with whom he has now won three championships with. The only reason why reports emerged that there was a possibility that Verstappen could leave was because of the reported power struggle at Red Bull.

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With that now seeming a thing of the past, Wolff too is perhaps aware that he has no control in influencing Verstappen’s decision. However, the Austrian did admit that he would go as far as performing “handstands” if that is what it took to sign Verstappen.

“Let’s word it like this. It is a decision that Max [Verstappen] needs to take and there is no team up and down the grid who wouldn’t do handstands to have him in their car,” explained Wolff. If Verstappen does decide to leave Red Bull at all, he could take advantage of Wolff’s desperation to negotiate a good deal with Mercedes.

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