Mercedes Set to Offer Max Verstappen Mega Deal

The Mercedes team has greenlit a generous salary offer for Max Verstappen, exceeding even Lewis Hamilton’s earnings, amidst a precarious situation.

Verstappen remains contracted to Red Bull until 2028, yet a clause permits his departure should Helmut Marko, senior advisor and driver program boss, leave. Mercedes eyes this as a potential opening.

With a vacant Mercedes seat for 2025, as Hamilton gears up to join Ferrari, team principal Toto Wolff openly expresses his desire to recruit Verstappen as Hamilton’s successor.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, Mercedes has internally approved a contract offer for Verstappen surpassing Hamilton’s salary, including bonuses.

The report suggests that while Verstappen is content with Red Bull’s current setup, his stance may change if the team hierarchy shifts, highlighting Marko’s pivotal role. Initially hinting at departure, Marko altered his tune amidst Red Bull’s off-track turbulence, which has since subsided.

However, Wolff concedes that Verstappen will gravitate towards the team with the superior car, currently Red Bull, given Verstappen’s successes in F1 2024, securing three 1-2 finishes out of four races, while Mercedes struggles to clinch a podium.

Auto Motor und Sport asserts that Verstappen’s camp awaits proof of Mercedes’ race-winning potential before considering a switch. Mercedes faced setbacks early in the season, hoping their revamped W15 challenger would reignite their title hopes.

Despite hints of progress at the Japanese Grand Prix, where they finished P7 and P9, the development battle in F1 2024 remains subdued.

Mercedes requires substantial improvements to convince Verstappen that they offer the best prospects. Fortunately, Auto Motor und Sport reports that Mercedes is not pressuring Verstappen for a prompt response, allowing them time to refine the W15.