Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has attacked Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for demonstrating a “total lack of understanding” after the Austrian criticized Max Verstappen’s dominance.
Verstappen, the reigning World Champion, has been on an incredible winning streak, securing his 12th victory of the season at the Italian Grand Prix. Surpassing Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive wins, set during his Red Bull days in 2013, Verstappen is rewriting the history books.
Speculation is rife that Verstappen might continue his winning streak, potentially triumphing in all eight remaining races, starting with the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.
Wolff’s comments, seen by many as unsportsmanlike, were met with criticism. He suggested that Red Bull was tailoring their car to suit Verstappen’s preferences, a claim the 25-year-old driver vehemently dismissed.
Verstappen, known for his preference for a car with pinpoint responsiveness, rejected Wolff’s accusations. Christian Horner sided with Verstappen, asserting that car development doesn’t work the way Wolff insinuated, emphasizing the pursuit of building the fastest car possible.
“Well, I think I completely agree with Max,” Horner said, via Sky Sports.
“It shows a total lack of understanding of how a race car and team develop, if Toto thinks that we’re developing a car around a single driver.
“You develop a car to be as quick as you can and sometimes quick cars are difficult cars – that’s what’s historically been the case.
“I think that drivers adapt. The good drivers that you see in wet conditions, mixed conditions, varied conditions, the elite, they adapt quickly and I think that’s one of his (Verstappen’s) key skill sets is his ability to adapt to the feeling and the grip levels that a car gives him.
“But there’s certainly no direction to say, ‘oh, we tailor something to suit one specific driver’, we’re just trying to design and build the fastest car that we can, that our tools, our simulation or our wind tunnel provide us with that direction.”