Mercedes ‘preparing world record offer to Max Verstappen’ for three-time world champ to replace Lewis Hamilton

MERCEDES could break the bank with a record-breaking deal to sign F1 world champion Max Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement.

Sources in Austria claim the F1 team are tabling a whopping £128 million a year package to lure the three time world champion.

GettyTotto Wolf wants Max Verstappen at Mercedes[/caption]

SplashThe Red Bull star could replace Lewis Hamilton[/caption]

It comes after Red Bull Racing were rocked by the news that design whizz Adrian Newey is stepping back from his role in the team.

SunSport reported on Tuesday how Verstappen’s father Jos and his manager, Raymond Vermeulen, are expected to meet the three owners of the Merc F1 team.

That includes team boss Toto Wolff, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius, and Ineos and Manchester United shareholder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The Verstappen camp have made it clear that they are assessing their options following their spectacular fallout with team boss Christian Horner.

It comes after an internal investigation where Horner was cleared of allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female colleague.
Verstappen’s father said in Bahrain that Horner’s position in control of the team was ripping it apart.

Horner responded that he would not stand in his driver’s way if he wanted to leave, despite having a contract worth over £40 million a year that runs until the end of 2028.

It means that Mercedes however, could be forced to stump up compensation for Verstappen, who is on course to win his fourth straight title this season.


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Wolff has made no secret of the fact that he would love to sign Verstappen and is close with the family and they both live in Monaco.

He is desperate to return the team to winning ways but has so far failed to see them muster a challenge.

However, Wolff knows he faces a tough task in trying to convince the driver to leave Red Bull for Mercedes.

Verstappen has seen Mercedes produce three duds in succession, leading somewhat to Hamilton’s decision to quit, while Red Bull have delivered him three title-winning cars.

Consequently there is a high degree of risk in making the switch, which Mercedes are hoping to acknowledge with a substantial contract that comes loaded with bonuses.

Verstappen meanwhile has tried to distance himself from the speculation linking him with Mercedes.

However, he is likely to come in for some questioning about his future at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

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