A Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen driver line-up would almost certainly be the strongest on the grid – and it would also mean Hamilton would have much more of a fight on his hands.
However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said they have no interest in signing the Dutch ace, as he believes it would lead to a similar level of intra-team rivalry that we saw when Nico Rosberg and Hamilton were team-mates.
“Max is not an option for Mercedes,” Wolff said in an interview with Austria’s ORF broadcaster.
“We will never understand exactly what happened in the relationship between Nico and Lewis at the time.
“It goes back a long time, precisely to their karting days and junior classes. We have seen how their friendship turned into rivalry and then hostility.
“That dynamic between them was very difficult to understand. It started when I joined the team in 2013 and it got worse and worse from there. It was a very difficult situation to deal with.
“During team meetings there was a very negative energy in the air. At some point it was no longer acceptable and we talked about it. But the hostility among the drivers remained,” Wolff added.
Continuing, Wolff said that Verstappen’s presence at the Silver Arrows “would create an unnecessary Star Wars.”
“Fortunately, with Valtteri all this has not presented itself,” the Austrian added.
Lewis Hamilton could win his seventh F1 title at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
And, despite the Brit not yet inking a contract with Mercedes for beyond the end of this season, Wolff has said he is confident that Hamilton will stay with the Silver Arrows.
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