Toto Wolff reveals missed opportunity to pair Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Max Verstappen has become another target of the possible driver-pair fiasco after one of the recent allegations put forth by Christian Horner. Max is mostly attributed to Red Bull, having started his F1 career with the Austrian outfit and he has won three consecutive driver’s titles with the Bulls, creating an era of his own.

Max is currently tied to Red Bull until 2028 and the Dutch champion doesn’t mind staying in the same team for years as long as he feels good about racing in Formula 1. He had even gifted a replica of his new helmet to Christian Horner on his birthday.

The Verstappen-Hamilton duo that almost happened

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have a competition amongst themselves that creates a legend of its own. The two drivers were in an intense title fight for the 2021 season and Max Verstappen thwarted Lewis’s plans to become an eight-time world champion. Although there were very few opportunities for Hamilton and Verstappen to battle at the front for the past two years, no one can imagine these two F1 greats working together as a team.

While Max as talked openly about his future in racing and a willingness to join Ferrari, there was another team that had been eyeing Max secretly but failed to take him onboard. As the clear dominators of the Turbo-Hybrid era, Mercedes could’ve had a possible duo of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, as clarified by Toto Wolff.

Max Verstappen
Toto with young Max via ESPN

Toto couldn’t hold back from revealing their situation during Max’s initial years in Formula 1, when he came as a Toro Rosso rookie in 2015. “Max was very good in karting, was good in F3, and it was clear that there’s a big one that’s growing,” he said. “We talked to them in the initial phases, and it was a nice discussion with Jos and with Max involved as well. But it was clear that we couldn’t give him a seat because we had Nico and we had Lewis. We offered the support in F2 but, since Red Bull was able to offer them the AlphaTauri seat, or Toro Rosso back in the day, it got Max into the seat.”

Max Verstappen
Lewis and Max possible pairing via Autosport

What was Max Verstappen’s career before F1?

Max Verstappen came from a racing pedigree, as both of his parents were esteemed racers, with his dad being an ex-F1 pilot himself. Verstappen used to race in karting championships from a very young age and he later joined Formula 3, the feeder series for young drivers in Formula 1. Max was immensely talented from a very young age and that led to his joining the Red Bull Junior Driver Development program.

Max Verstappen
Verstappen in Formula 3 via Red Bull

Usually, Formula 1 drivers go through the feeder series one by one and then reach Formula 1, mostly after winning the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships. Such wasn’t the case for Max Verstappen, though, who got a chance to directly skip Formula 2 and join Red Bull’s sister team in 2015 before finally getting a chance on the Red Bull team.

Max Verstappen has created his own history in Formula 1. The Dutch champion has managed to become the first driver with an earning of $1 billion.

Do you think a possible team of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen would be stable, or it would result in a huge controversy like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton’s time in McLaren? Let us know what you think in the comments section.


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