In the world of Formula 1, records are made and broken, and rivalries often lead to fiery comments. After Max Verstappen’s historic 10th consecutive Grand Prix victory at Monza, the Formula 1 community was buzzing with excitement. However, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff didn’t seem too impressed, and he expressed his views on Verstappen’s achievement in a way that raised eyebrows.
Verstappen’s feat not only surpassed the nine-race win record held by Red Bull predecessor Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari but also marked a milestone for Red Bull Racing itself. They became the first team to achieve 15 victories in a row. These are no small feats, and they deserved acknowledgment.
But when asked about Verstappen’s record-breaking streak, Wolff’s response was somewhat dismissive. He told Sky Sports F1, “Our situation was a little bit different because we had two guys [Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg] fighting against each other within the team. I don’t know if [Verstappen] cares about the records. It is not something that would be important for me, those numbers. It is for Wikipedia, and nobody reads that anyway.”
In a surprising turn of events, Wolff later admitted that his initial comments might not have been the wisest choice of words. Perhaps he realized that underestimating the significance of such records wasn’t in line with the spirit of the sport. He confessed that his attitude at that moment was inspired by the late Niki Lauda, former Mercedes GP non-executive chair and a triple F1 champion.
Lauda, known for his no-nonsense approach, had a similar disregard for sentimental attachments to numbers. Wolff shared, “Well, obviously, when you look at the comments, in the circumstances you can think ‘Was it the most intelligent thing that I could have said’ and maybe not.” It’s a rare moment of humility from a man who often exudes confidence.
But here’s where Wolff’s perspective diverges from the norm. While statistics might not matter to him personally, he acknowledged that Red Bull should be recognized for their exceptional performance. He emphasized the importance of the constructors’ championship, the “most valuable” prize in Formula 1.
Wolff stated, “Formula 1 is a meritocracy. And I said it often during this year that only the best will win world championships, and you need to recognize what a great job is being done there. And at the end, they will take another big trophy, and that is something that’s the most valuable. The best person in the best car wins the world championship.”
So, in the world of Formula 1, where numbers and records often take center stage, Toto Wolff’s initial comments may not have hit the mark, but his acknowledgment of Red Bull’s achievements and the value of the constructors’ championship shows that even in the heat of competition, there’s room for respect and recognition. After all, in the end, it’s the pursuit of excellence that drives this high-speed world of racing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 Records
Q: What did Toto Wolff say about Max Verstappen’s record-breaking wins?
A: Toto Wolff initially downplayed the significance of Max Verstappen’s 10 consecutive Grand Prix victories, suggesting that Verstappen might not care about the records and that they were only relevant for Wikipedia.
Q: Why did Toto Wolff later admit his comments might not have been the wisest choice?
A: Wolff realized that his comments might not have been the most intelligent or respectful choice of words. He later admitted that his attitude at that moment was influenced by the late Niki Lauda, known for his straightforward approach to Formula 1.
Q: What perspective does Toto Wolff have on Formula 1 records and statistics?
A: While Wolff personally may not place a high value on statistics, he acknowledged the importance of recognizing great achievements in the sport. He emphasized the significance of the constructors’ championship as the “most valuable” prize in Formula 1.
Q: What did Red Bull achieve at Monza that made history?
A: Red Bull Racing made history by achieving 15 consecutive victories in a row, becoming the first team to do so. Max Verstappen also broke the nine-race win record held by Red Bull’s predecessor Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari with his 10th consecutive Grand Prix win at Monza.