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Guenther Steiner Sees Through Toto Wolff’s Dance of Seduction for Max Verstappen: “Why Would He Leave?”

Shreya Sanjeev

Guenther Steiner Sees Through Toto Wolff’s Dance of Seduction for Max Verstappen: “Why Would He Leave?”

Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari opened a can of worms that has infested the F1 paddock. Meanwhile, Red Bull had its own turmoil to deal with. All of this somehow led to the possibility of Max Verstappen moving to Mercedes. It’s still bizarre, but the F1 world will not stop discussing it. But, according to Guenther Steiner, there’s nothing to talk about.

Starting his own feature with the Red Flags Podcast, Steiner will now share all his hot takes on ‘Vankah Hours.’ What better way to make your debut as a podcaster than to talk about what’s hot in town? In explaining the movement of the busy driver’s market, Steiner puts it very bluntly, “Max will stay at Red Bull.” 

To back his statement, Steiner has a simple question: “Why would he leave?”

Looking at the way Toto Wolff has openly and unabashedly, for lack of a better word, courted Max Verstappen – singing his praises and readying the Mercedes seat – Steiner raises his eyebrows. “Partly putting on pressure. And he must have a belief that it maybe could be possible.”, he said.

Steiner, however, believes that it goes way deeper than Verstappen right now. The strongest driver on the grid is nothing without the strongest car.

And so, the market isn’t only excited because of Verstappen; it’s the man who made his success possible, Adrian Newey. Steiner explains that Verstappen, like any other driver, is looking at who Newey graces with his drawing board.

If not Max Verstappen, then who?

If Max Verstappen chooses to stick through his contract, which is the likely scenario, the question remains: Who will fill Lewis Hamilton’s shoes at Mercedes? Guenther Steiner believes the answer lies with Carlos Sainz.

Advocating for Sainz in Mercedes colors, Steiner would also cheer for Sainz in an Audi. Arguing that the German team will not find someone better than Sainz for their lineup, he acknowledges, “You cannot force Carlos to go there.”

The former Haas boss goes on to highlight the conundrum that clouds over Sainz: “Carlos is just waiting.” Moving to a team like Sauber after being a multiple Ferrari race winner isn’t necessarily the job promotion Sainz is hoping for.

However, Steiner knows what the problems are at Mercedes. The 58-year-old is of the shared belief that Sainz would go to Mercedes in the blink of an eye if given a deal. A good deal. “If Carlos were to go there it would have to be a long-term contract in my opinion. I think Mercedes is not willing to do that because they’ve got Kimi Antonelli waiting.”, he said.

And so the Mercedes seat remains hauntingly empty, with no guesses on who will replace Hamilton. F1 continues its course with some strong undercurrents to this season – stories that develop by the day, and in the blink of a moment, could change the game completely. It’s just a matter of time before the 2025-26 grid will be confirmed and we will be in for a season of excitement.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Shreya Sanjeev

Shreya Sanjeev


Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. Two years in the field and an ever-growing love for the sport drive her dream to walk around the paddock one day with a mic in hand. A Red Bull fan through and through, her “favorite driver” spot was once held by notable alumni Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and now, the Dutch Lion himself, Max Verstappen. Apart from F1, she muses in the NBA and cheers on for Steph Curry and his Warriors, while also jumping on the NFL bandwagon.

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