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Mercedes tried to sign Verstappen - Lauda

  • Published on 06 Jul 2018 10:31
  • comments 16
  • By: Jeroen Jonkers

Niki Lauda has revealed that Mercedes tried to sign Max Verstappen last year.

Ultimately, Verstappen was retained by Red Bull, with Mercedes team chairman Lauda saying that only happened because "Helmut Marko was faster".

"Yes, we really talked to Verstappen," Lauda told ORF broadcaster at Silverstone.

"We had conversations with his father and him in the summer of 2017," he added.

"Hamilton is the best driver, but he needs a teammate to put pressure on him so he can really show what he is capable of doing. He needs someone to push him to improve on the track," Lauda added.

By not signing Verstappen, Mercedes re-signed Valtteri Bottas for 2018 and the German team is now expected to keep both Hamilton and Bottas for 2019 and 2020.

Replies (16)

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  • Now they make clear they wanted Max, while criticising him at the start of the season as childish. Make up your kind Lauda

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2018 - 17:08
    • You saying someone is childish doesnt exclude you from wanting the same driver for its skills and speed. Merc' has at least one not very mature driver and Lauda himself on board as we speak, so maturity clearly doesnt play a big role in their staff selection.

      • + 1
      • Jul 6 2018 - 18:25
    • dr002

      Posts: 141

      Over the past 12 months Lauda continued to argue that Mercedes never made an approach to Verstappen and that RB had been out negotiated by Max and paid too much for him..... Now it turns out that they did speak to him and that the reason for not signing him was not about money, but that they were too slow ........

      This season Lauda is maintaining that they have not spoken to any other drivers and that HamBot will definitely race for them in '19......... are we now able to take him at his word on this? Given this revelation, probably not........ Would also seem Lauda is questioning Hamilton's hunger / performance this year.

      • + 0
      • Jul 11 2018 - 03:04
  • Savage. That's a serious slide on Bottas

    "Hamilton is the best driver, but he needs a teammate to put pressure on him so he can really show what he is capable of doing"

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2018 - 18:42
    • Yet there is a point to it. Bottas really hasnt been putting all tha tmuch pressure on dear Hammy. Im sure a driver like Ric or Ver would be able to do alot more with that car, but I dont see that as long as Hammy is their Prime Primadonna.

      • + 0
      • Jul 6 2018 - 19:21
    • I agree. But as much as I hated it as a fan, Bottas is actually a perfect #2 driver. Actually very close to Hamilton. Takes points away from Vettel. Gets odd pole position. He collects valuable constructor championship points. Just look at Raikkonen and see how good of a wingman Bottas is. So yes... I'd love to see Ricciardo, Alonso, or Verstappen next to Hamilton. But there is really no good reason to do that from a management perspective. Except for... Marketing of courts. It would be off the charts. The amount of camera time they would get would make every other team jealous.

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2018 - 06:37
    • Oh he is, I wont fight you on that point. Much better than Kimi. And Im sure Merc' dont want another Rosberg vs Hammy situation. Yet, with Ros on board, they scored even more wins and points. And there is no doubt in my mind that the reason RB has been able to be so effective despite those Renaults is because they have two about equal drivers on board. So I dont think the notion of having two competitive drivers is all that true in all cases, because if it was the case, nobody would do it.

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2018 - 09:21
  • Pressure is the last thing Hamilton needs. Everyone knows what happened when he was confronted with a teammate that was a little bit stronger. That's why they replaced Rosberg with Kovalainen. I mean Bottas.
    Verstappen - Hamilton will never happen. Lauda knows it and Hamilton knows it. Why would they want to make Hamilton quit at the beginning of the season? Verstappen would crush him with his pace and his strong mind. Hamilton is not used to real competition. He gets paranoid when his team screws unintentionally something up. Imagine what would happen with Max in the same team. It would be great to watch, but sadly it will never happen. BTW, the same goes for Ricciardo.

    If they spoke with Max, it's because they wanted to REPLACE Hamilton.

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2018 - 22:19
    • The only thing Verstappen is good at is crushing cars.

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2018 - 00:56
    • blade

      Posts: 341

      What a load of tosh. With respect, you forget that with over 11 yrs experience in F1 a racer of his calibre is likely know a thing or two about pressure. You don't see Hamilton crashing every other race.

      I love Max, he's box-office at the moment, but he's simply not in Hamilton's class, nor Vettel's, nor Alonso. Max is the world champ designate, but not until H/V retire.

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2018 - 09:33
    • Hombibi

      Posts: 137

      @Ram, you dont like the kid very much, do you?

      • + 0
      • Jul 7 2018 - 23:18
  • concentrating the portfolio is not a bad idea.

    • + 0
    • Jul 6 2018 - 22:54
  • Good thing they didn't. Saved a lot of money on cars not having him in them the first 6 races, and it looks like he's well on his way to breaking another car for this weekend.

    • + 0
    • Jul 7 2018 - 00:54
  • Mr.Useless

    Posts: 18

    This is why Verstappen is getting a big paycheck. And this is why Lewis is going to get his at Mercedes. Now if Bottas was kicking his ass regularly, Hamilton would probably consider singing, professionally. So, believe it or not, Lewis' future as a singer/performer is in Valtteri's hands.

    • + 0
    • Jul 7 2018 - 06:01
  • Verstappen and Hamilton would have been a superb line up at Merc, shame it didn't happen.
    Bottas is a nice guy but he totally lacks the balls to go wheel to wheel with Lewis, he's far too timid.

    • + 0
    • Jul 7 2018 - 16:52
  • ray1975

    Posts: 2,400

    Max speelt geen tweede viool, en logisch ook. alle je een eerlijke kans krijgt bij RBR dan ga toch niet naar MB voor tweede rijder

    • + 0
    • Jul 8 2018 - 09:57

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