Max Verstappen set a new standard in Formula 1 at the Italian Grand Prix with his tenth straight victory. That result put the Red Bull driver atop the record books, and drew praise from around the sporting world.
However, Red Bull’s biggest rivals on the track were rather muted in their reaction, in particular Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff. The team boss brushed the accomplishment aside in rather bizarre fashion, stating that the record was something for Wikipedia, arguing that no one reads that website anyway.
Those remarks drew a sharp rebuke from Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, who channeled his inner Logan Roy in describing Mercedes as “not a serious opponent,” but on Thursday during the FIA Press Conferences ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix it was Verstappen’s turn.
And the driver was equally blunt.
“I’m not disappointed in that, but I mean they had a pretty s*** race so probably he was still pissed off with their performance,” said Verstappen when asked about Wolff’s comments.
George Russell finished fifth at Monza, with Lewis Hamilton behind him in sixth.
But Verstappen was just warming up.
“He almost sounds like he’s an employee of our team sometimes, you know? But no, luckily [he’s] not.”
Verstappen also outlined how Mercedes enjoyed a similar run of dominance in the sport, a period which the driver believes propelled Red Bull to work harder at closing the gap. The team ultimately caught Mercedes on the final lap of the 2021 season, with Verstappen edging Hamilton to secure his first Drivers’ Championship.
Not that anyone still discusses that moment …
“I think it’s just important that you focus on your own team,” said Verstappen. “That’s what we do as well. That’s what we did in the past as well when we were behind them and when they were dominating, and 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 was very impressive at the time and we knew that we just had to work harder, try to be better and try to get to that level,” added the Red Bull driver. “And now that we are there, we are very happy of course that we are there and we are enjoying the moment and honestly that’s all I can say about it.”
Now we wait to see if Wolff has a response of his own.