Toto Wolff believes Mercedes’ improved performance could have caught Max Verstappen’s eye at Silverstone.

With two victories on the bounce in Austria and Silverstone, the Brackley-based squad’s current rich vein of form means replacing Lewis Hamilton could be a little easier if the team is seeking a replacement from elsewhere on the grid.

Toto Wolff: Current success won’t influence Mercedes’ thinking

The biggest question of this year’s F1 silly season is whether or not Mercedes will turn to their young protégé Kimi Antonelli to step right into their vacant cockpit as Lewis Hamilton departs for Ferrari.

Toto Wolff has made no secret of his desire to tempt Max Verstappen away from Red Bull, with the Dutch driver under contract with the Milton Keynes-based squad until 2028 – although certain contract clauses are understood to be in place if Verstappen does decide he wants out of Red Bull.

Verstappen has distanced himself from the possibility of a switch to Mercedes in recent weeks, pointing to the fact he desires a competitive car above factors such as an exorbitant salary.

While Mercedes’ Austria win hinged on a calamitous clash between Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris, the Silverstone win was achieved on pure merit – Mercedes having locked out the front row with a 1-2 before Hamilton romped through into the lead during the tricky damp conditions, before securing the win via a soft tyre undercut in the closing stages as the track dried.

With a more competitive car making the team more attractive to any driver seeking a new drive for 2025, Wolff said the increased speed on display from the W15 doesn’t change anything in the team’s eyes when it comes to making a driver decision.

“I don’t think… it doesn’t influence our thinking,” he told media, including, following the race win at Silverstone.

“I’ve always said we need a car that goes quick and, when we have a car that goes quick, we get interesting for many drivers.

“But, in a way, I think we need to stay calm and continue the season and continue to focus on the car and then look at whether the options are still the same.

“But it’s not like, you know, changing everything upside down.”

Asked whether the win would change anything in terms of the driver market, to get more drivers interested in the vacant seat, Wolff wryly smiled as he pointed across the paddock in the direction of Red Bull’s hospitality unit.

“I don’t know, he [Max] had lots of opportunity to look at the car in the race!” he said.

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With Mercedes claiming two wins in a row, it’s the most amount of success in terms of results the team has enjoyed in the ground effect era that was ushered in in 2022.

Having started the year off the pace with a reluctant W15, recent upgrades made the car “the driver’s friend”, according to technical director James Allison, and Wolff said everything has suddenly started to come together.

“It clicked and, suddenly, everything that didn’t make sense, made sense,” he said of the recent improvements on the aero package.

“The development direction, or the results of the development direction, are like back in the old days, we are finding performance, we are putting it on the car, and it translates into lap time.

“That wasn’t the case for the last two years. There’s more to come in terms of performance we’re bringing, we’re bringing bits to Budapest and Spa.

“But, on the other side, we mustn’t get carried away. We had a win last week benefiting from the entangling but, today, we have an honest win. We had the real pace, we had George and Lewis in the lead and, in almost all conditions,  we had the real pace, we were there.”

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