Mercedes are reportedly preparing to table a world-record £128m-a-year offer to sign Max Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement.

The Sun are reporting that Mercedes are willing to “break the bank” with an eye-watering offer to try and poach the three-time world champion from rivals Red Bull.

New Manchester United chief and Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to “play a huge role in finding Hamilton’s replacement” following the seven-time world champion’s shock decision to quit Mercedes in favour of a switch to Ferrari in 2025.

Verstappen is currently tied down to a contract worth over £40 million a year running until the end of 2028, however, Mercedes are apparently prepared to more than triple the Dutchman’s salary.

But such a move would likely require Mercedes to “stump up compensation” for Verstappen, The Sun’s report adds.

Mercedes are openly courting Verstappen, who is set to clinch his fourth consecutive world title this year, after team principal Toto Wolff admitted the Brackley-based outfit would “love” to sign the reigning world champion.

The eight-time constructors’ world champions hope to capitalise on the current turmoil surrounding Red Bull following the controversy around team principal Christian Horner.

Red Bull have been hit with the resignation of legendary F1 car designer Adrian Newey, whose exit in early 2025 was confirmed on Wednesday morning.

There have been reports that Wolff, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius and Ratcliffe are planning meet with Verstappen and his management after this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix to discuss a possible move.

Responding to the reports, Wolff told Reuters television: “No, that’s one of the rumours. People make up meetings, make up what’s happening with the drivers but these things should be behind closed doors and everything that’s been out there was not really the right thing.”

Verstappen has repeatedly insisted that he has no plans to leave Red Bull, but he will likely face further questioning about his future following the news of Newey’s departure.