Max Verstappen has told Toto Wolff to focus on his own team after he called the Dutchman’s record winning streak “completely irrelevant” and “for Wikipedia”.
Red Bull’s Verstappen became the first driver in Formula One’s 73-year history to win 10 consecutive races following his triumph at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.
But moments after Verstappen’s landmark win, Mercedes team principal Wolff said: “For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant. Those numbers are for Wikipedia and nobody reads that anyway.”
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton crossed the line a distant fifth and sixth respectively for Mercedes at Monza’s Cathedral of Speed.
And when asked ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix for his reaction to Wolff’s unflattering appraisal, Verstappen said: “I mean, they (Mercedes) had a pretty s*** race, so he was probably still p***** off with their performance.”
Poking fun at what Verstappen perceives to be an obsession with Red Bull, he continued: “He almost sounds like he’s an employee of our team, but luckily he is not. It’s just important that you focus on your own team. That’s what we do and that’s what we did in the past when we were behind them and when they were dominating. It worked as a kind of inspiration.
A 10/10 performance today @redbullracing
To win 10 races in a row, and 15 consecutive races as a team, is unbelievable! I’m beyond proud to achieve this milestone together
Today we will enjoy this moment and then we will keep pushing for more
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) September 3, 2023
“You should be able to appreciate when a team is doing really well. To see someone that dominant – it 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. And now that we are there, we are very happy, and we are enjoying the moment.”
Verstappen, now a victor at 12 of the 14 rounds so far, has not lost a race since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30, while his Red Bull team remain unbeaten this year.
But the Dutch driver has never won in Singapore and last season he finished only seventh. And Verstappen fears the high-downforce, low-speed nature of the Marina Bay Circuit could play into the hands of his rivals.
Singapore 2022 Car 11 won at 11:11:11pm pic.twitter.com/NrI7QRhVb4
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 13, 2023
“We are not as competitive here as other tracks,” said Verstappen. “The streets are a little bit tougher for our car. We can do a good job, but it will be very tight.
“So, I want to try and continue that streak, but I know there will be a day that that stops. Normally, Singapore is a bit more of a risk and more chaos, but we are here to win.
“I never really looked at winning eight or nine, 10 races in a row. I just want to do the best I can. And every weekend is basically the same in terms of the pressure I put on myself to try and get the best result so nothing really changes.”