Verstappen’s recent triumph at the Italian Grand Prix marked his 10th consecutive win, eclipsing the once unassailable record he previously held jointly with racing legends Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari. Additionally, Red Bull Racing’s astonishing 15-win sequence sets a new benchmark in F1 history.
Though Verstappen habitually minimizes the importance of his record-setting performances, stating that he’s not fixated on stats, the insiders at Team Red Bull paint a slightly different picture. They hint that the seemingly imperturbable Dutch racer took this particular record more to heart than he publicly admitted.
Team Principal Christian Horner said, “I wouldn’t describe him as anxious, but his attention was palpably keener than usual. It was clear this milestone held special significance for him.”
“To secure a 1-2 finish and to see Max stand alone atop the leaderboard for consecutive F1 wins with 10 victories is nothing short of remarkable,” Horner added.
Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko also confessed to sensing a bit of pre-race jitters from Verstappen, noting that clinching the record amid a season of such overwhelming dominance carried extra weight.
“To Max, this chain of wins is monumental,” Marko remarked. “Personally, hitting the century mark in team victories meant even more to me, but this is an incredible feat for Max nonetheless.”
He continued, “You could sense Max was a tad uneasy about nailing it here; breaking this record was clearly high on his priority list. Now that he’s done it, he can probably breathe a little easier in upcoming races.”
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff’s reaction to Verstappen’s achievement was one of nonchalance, stating that the record is “something for Wikipedia, which no one reads anyway.” This follows remarks from Lewis Hamilton, who seemed to downplay Verstappen’s accomplishments by comparing the Dutchman’s teammates unfavorably to his own.
In response, Horner chose not to get entangled in a war of words with Wolff, stating, “Let’s not divert our attention from Max’s spectacular performances. Right now, there’s nobody on the planet who could outperform Max in this car, period.”
He went on to say, “Achievements like this in sports are few and far between. It’s a gilded era for Max and unquestionably a high watermark for the team.”
So while Horner may shy away from the Mercedes tiff, he’s unabashedly vocal about the extraordinary feats of his driver and team. In the grand scheme of sports miracles, Verstappen’s victory lap isn’t just for show—it’s for the record books.
Additional reporting by Ronald Vording.