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Wolff 'p*****' by Verstappen error as star makes Mercedes debut

Wolff 'p*****' by Verstappen error as star makes Mercedes debut

Wolff 'p*****' by Verstappen error as star makes Mercedes debut

Wolff 'p*****' by Verstappen error as star makes Mercedes debut

A prominent figure in Formula 1 has a bold prediction on who Mercedes might choose to replace the departing Lewis Hamilton.

The upcoming 2025 F1 season promises a significant shake-up with Hamilton's move to Ferrari. This leaves a gaping hole in the Mercedes garage, and team boss Toto Wolff faces a crucial decision on who will replace the seven-time champion.

READ MORE: Hamilton to open Wolff talks at Mercedes amid Ferrari F1 move uncertainty

Several names have been thrown into the mix, such as soon-to-be out-of-contract Carlos Sainz. However, at the top of Wolff's wish list sits the dominant Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman's blistering pace and recent dominance make him a dream candidate for the Austrian boss. However, luring him away from world champions Red Bull, who are currently boasting a clear performance advantage, seems unrealistic - at least for now.

Verstappen himself recently hinted at a desire for a competitive car, despite not entirely shutting the door on a future move. Further complicating matters is his mammoth contract, the longest on the grid, tying him to the Milton Keynes squad until the end of the 2028 season.

So, if not Verstappen, then who? According to one F1 figure, Wolff might already have his sights set...

READ MORE: Mercedes announce MAJOR £5.9 million loss in profits

Lewis Hamilton is set to join Ferrari in the 2025 season
Toto Wolff admitted that Max Verstappen is his ideal Lewis Hamilton replacement

Buxton predicts Mercedes move

F1 presenter Will Buxton believes Mercedes might be setting the stage for Formula 2 standout Andrea Kimi Antonelli's future with the team.

The Italian recently got behind the wheel of an F1 car, driving the Mercedes W12, which secured the 2021 constructors' championship, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Buxton believes a past regret is leading Wolff's desires to get the 17-year-old into an F1 seat alongside George Russell.

"Antonelli is going to Mercedes. I think Toto has made his mind up: he wants Antonelli in the seat," Buxton declared on The Red Flags Podcast.

"Because he’s p****d," he continued. "He is p****d that he missed the opportunity to give Max the opportunity back in 2014. So you put Antonelli in the seat."

READ MORE: Hamilton reveals MIXED feelings from Mercedes employees over Ferrari move

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