Toto Wolff says no to Fernando Alonso and maybe to Max Verstappen

20-08-2019 08:04
by Bobby Vincent
General
Toto Wolff says no to Fernando Alonso and maybe to Max Verstappen

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Fernando Alonso is one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers but would not take the chance with the Spaniard at the Silver Arrows but has not ruled out a move for Red Bull star Max Verstappen.

As it stands, Mercedes is weighing up its options for the 2020 season with Valtteri Bottas under big pressure and Esteban Ocon is the favourite to replace the Finn, with Wolff confirming a decision will be made in August.

Alonso seems to always be a name linked when it comes to F1 teams following his retirement from the sport at the end of last season. News has emerged that Red Bull wanted the two-time world champion to replace Pierre Gasly instead of Alex Albon.

However, despite rating him as one of the "strongest" F1 drivers, Wolff has insisted Alonso will not be considered at Mercedes.

"Fernando is undoubtedly one of the strongest drivers and after his adventures at Ferrari, he no longer had the opportunity to drive a competitive car," Wolff said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Due to a series of circumstances, the top teams already have their 'alpha' driver. Sometimes it's not enough to be good at driving, you also need to have the right circumstances.

"Yes," Wolff said when asked if it was "unthinkable" to see Alonso and Lewis Hamilton back together at Mercedes. "because we don't want to repeat certain stories from when the two were together with McLaren."

Wolff was then asked about the possibility of Verstappen potentially joining Mercedes in 2021, with the Dutchman's contract at Red Bull expiring, and he replied: "That's too far away. We are fighting for the 2019 title and planning for 2020.

"Everything is open after 2020," Wolff added when asked once again if Verstappen would be on a "hypothetical Mercedes list".

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