Wolff told Verstappen to pick Red Bull
21 August 2014 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has claimed that he told Max Verstappen to pick Red Bull's offer of a Toro Rosso seat for the 2015 season over his own team as it was impossible to make room for the Dutch youngster.
Both Mercedes and Red Bull held talks with Max and father Jos, who made 106 starts during an eight-season Formula 1 career, over joining their respective driver schemes, but the 16-year-old ultimately chose the latter.
And just days after being confirmed as part of the Red Bull Junior Team, Verstappen was named in Toro Rosso's 2015 driver line-up, replacing Jean-Éric Vergne to partner Daniil Kvyat, who made his F1 debut this season.
"We had several talks with Jos and Max," Wolff told German newspaper Bild, when quizzed on the matter.
"He is certainly one of the greatest talents in racing in recent years. But we would and could not guarantee him a seat in our Formula 1 team. So I advised him to accept the offer [of a Toro Rosso drive] from Red Bull."
Nico Rosberg recently signed a 'multi-year' extension with Mercedes, while talks continue with Lewis Hamilton.