In a surprising twist, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has downplayed Max Verstappen’s extraordinary triumph at the Italian Grand Prix, dismissing it as merely “Wikipedia material.”
Verstappen’s performance at Monza indeed left racing enthusiasts in awe as he battled fiercely against Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and etched his name into the annals of Formula 1 history with his 10th consecutive victory.
This exceptional feat was not an isolated success for the Dutch sensation. It marked his 12th win out of 14 races in the 2023 season, underscoring his relentless pursuit of a third consecutive world championship title.
Yet, Wolff’s reaction to Verstappen’s remarkable accomplishments suggests a simmering rivalry beneath the surface of the F1 circuit.
“Our situation was a little bit different because we had two guys fighting against each other within the team,” Wolff told Sky, in a subtle dig towards Red Bull’s ongoing domination.
“I don’t know whether he [Verstappen] cares about the record. It’s not something that would bother me, any of those numbers.
“It’s for Wikipedia – nobody reads that, anyway.”
“Lots of incidents. You have to be careful not to be too happy about fifth and sixth,” Wolff said of Mercedes’ race.
“I think we maximised the points, for what was there today.”
Both Russell and Hamilton picked up five-second time penalties for separate infringements, which ultimately had no impact on their result.
“I think both penalties you can justify,” Wolff admitted. “We will look at data for how we can prevent it in the future.”