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Mercedes couldn't guarantee F1 seat for Max Verstappen

  • Published on 21 Aug 2014 14:03
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes came close to signing up F1 rookie sensation Max Verstappen. Ultimately, the 16-year-old Dutchman and his father-manager Jos went with Red Bull's famous driver programme, after Dr Helmut Marko promised him a race seat for 2015 at Toro Rosso.

"We had several meetings with Jos and Max," Wolff, Mercedes' motor sport chief, confirmed to the German newspaper Bild. "He is certainly a great talent, but we would not and could not guarantee him a seat with us in formula one. So I advised them to accept the offer from Red Bull," Wolff confirmed.

Verstappen's signing at a very young age - before he even qualifies for a license to drive a road car - is controversial and it will be a big talking point throughout the Belgian GP weekend. But F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi thinks the talented Dutchman can be ready for his record-breaking 2015 debut. "Today, with all the electronic help, young drivers with talent are able to go very fast right off the bat," he told Brazil's Globo.

"Last year I had the chance to drive a new Lotus and the car is really well balanced. The drivers also have a very large support team around them. I am good friends with Franz Tost, he has worked with the drivers who later went to Red Bull like Vettel and Ricciardo, so I trust him a lot," Fittipaldi added. (GMM)

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Driver profile

  • Team Red Bull Racing
  • Points 1,558
  • Podiums 60
  • Grand Prix 141
  • Country NL
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (24)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), NL
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.8 m
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12 - Nov 14 2021
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Qatar
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
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France Paul Ricard
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Austria Red Bull Ring
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Austria Red Bull Ring
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Hungary Hungaroring
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Russian Sochi Autodrom
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Turkey Istanbul Park
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United States of America Circuit of the Americas
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12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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