Max Verstappen howls back at Big Bad Wolff over 'irrelevance' comment

File picture: Stephanie Lecocq / Reuters.

File picture: Stephanie Lecocq / Reuters.

Published Sep 15, 2023


Max Verstappen hit back at Mercedes Formula One team boss Toto Wolff on Thursday after the Austrian said the Red Bull driver's record run of 10 wins in a row was irrelevant and just for Wikipedia.

Wolff made his comments after this month's Italian Grand Prix, where Mercedes were beaten by both Ferraris as well as the two Red Bulls.

Asked at the Singapore Grand Prix for his reaction, Verstappen said he was not disappointed.

"They had a pretty shit race, so probably he was still pissed off with their performance," the 25-year-old Dutch driver told a news conference ahead of a race that could bring his team a 16th successive victory.

"He almost sounds like he’s an employee of our team sometimes, but luckily not."

Verstappen, who is 145 points clear of team mate Sergio Perez in the championship and set for a third title well before the end of the season, suggested Wolff should focus on his own team.

"That’s what we did in the past as well, when we were behind them and when they were dominating," he said.

"I think you should be able to appreciate when a team is doing really well. Which I think we’ve done in the past, because it worked also as a kind of inspiration. To see someone that dominant, it was very impressive at the time.

"We knew that we just had to work harder, try to be better and try to get to that level. And now that we are there, we are very happy of course that we are there and we are enjoying the moment."

Mercedes won a record eight constructors' titles in a row between 2014 and 2021, with Lewis Hamilton taking six of his seven championships with the team.

Hamilton is currently fourth in the standings, 200 points behind Verstappen.

The Briton's team mate and compatriot George Russell, the last non-Red Bull driver to win a race, is seventh and 255 points off the lead.