The Sun (Malaysia)

Wolff blunt in response to Max feat


boss Toto Wolff called Max Verstappen’s drive into the Formula One record books at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix “completely irrelevant”.

Wolff found it difficult to express praise for Red Bull’s star man despite Verstappen’s historic streak.

“For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant,” he said. “They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes.

“I don’t know how many races we won in a row. I didn’t even know that there was a count of how many wins in a row, so if you are asking me to comment on the achievemen­t it is difficult, because it never played a role in my own life until I heard about it yesterday.

“The result itself shows a great driver in a great car, who are competing on an extremely high level.”

Wolff’s lacklustre appraisal came after Hamilton devalued the strength of Verstappen’s teammates in an interview on Italian television on Thursday. Verstappen responded in the Dutch media by suggesting Hamilton was “jealous” of his current success.

Hamilton was then asked about Verstappen’s record-breaking run after Sunday’s 51-lap race.

“I had strong teammates,” he replied. “Valtteri (Bottas) was quick a lot of times. I don’t care about statistics in general. Good for him.”

Since he claimed his maiden title at the controvers­ial season-ending Abu Dhabi race in 2021 – denying Hamilton a record eighth championsh­ip – Verstappen has won 27 of the 36 races staged. In his last 25 appearance­s, Verstappen has failed to win just four times.

“What Max is doing is breaking records and driving at an unbelievab­le level,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

“I don’t think there is anybody in the world at the moment that can beat Max Verstappen in this car, that’s for sure.

“You have to recognise and applaud what Max is doing. It is very special to achieve what he has achieved and we shouldn’t detract from that in any way.

“In sport it is very rare that something like this happens and it is a golden moment for him and certainly a golden moment for the team.” – The Independen­t

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