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Toto Wolff faces Max Verstappen agony as stars align for Lawrence Stroll and Aston Martin


Toto Wolff may be willing to do ‘handstands’ to get Max Verstappen in one his Mercedes’ next season, but things are falling into place for Aston Martin to lodge a formidable proposal of their own. Reports indicate that the F1 team owned by Lawrence Stroll are putting together an ‘attractive package’ before trying to pinch the Red Bull star in 2025.

Part of that could involve design guru Adrian Newey. Aston are believed to have made a lucrative offer for Red Bull’s chief technical officer, who has masterminded multiple seasons of F1 dominance for Verstappen, and previously Sebastian Vettel.

While Stroll and co are yet to receive a concrete response from Newey, another ace up their sleeve is a power unit partnership with Honda starting in 2026. Red Bull, meanwhile, are branching off to make their own engines with the help of Ford.

All three of Verstappen’s world titles have been won using Honda power units, and the Japanese manufacturer’s move to Aston Martin could play a part in swaying him away from Red Bull and Mercedes.

Wolff has openly admitted that Verstappen is his top choice to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2025, when the seven-time world champion will ditch Mercedes and join Ferrari. 

“Let’s word it like this,” said the Austrian. “I think this is a decision that Max needs to take but there is no team up and down the grid that wouldn’t do handstands to have him in the car. I’d love to have him.”

But according to The Mirror, Aston Martin are hoping to throw a spanner in the works by ‘exploiting’ any doubts Verstappen may have about his Red Bull future. Montreal-born billionaire Stroll, whose son races for the team, is reportedly formulating ‘the most attractive package possible’ before swooping for the Dutchman.

The wheels are turning behind the scenes at Aston, presenting Wolff with the possibility of missing out on Verstappen for the second time, having also fumbled the opportunity to snap him up as a teenager.

Back in 2015, the Mercedes boss was unable to offer Verstappen an F1 seat ahead of Hamilton or Nico Rosberg, so he joined Red Bull’s second team, Toro Rosso, instead. And the rest is history.

Stroll is said to be ‘hell-bent’ on making Aston Martin a dominant force. The 64-year-old has financed a state-of-the-art Silverstone base, a new wind tunnel is in the works, and he has already poached highly-rated engineer Dan Fallows from Red Bull, who Newey and Verstappen could consider reuniting with.

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