In an unexpected turn, Christian Horner has rejected the opportunity to mock Toto Wolff for dismissing Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 10, saying he won’t be “drawn into commenting on that”.
Verstappen made Formula 1 history at the Italian Grand Prix when the Red Bull driver raced to his 10th successive win by six seconds ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.
It was a new record for the most wins in a row, the 25-year-old beating Sebastian Vettel’s nine from 2013, and it took him another step closer to breaking his own record for the most wins in a single season as he’s now up to 12.
Toto Wolff doubles down with ‘irrelevant’ claims
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
That hasn’t stopped him from doubling down.
“For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant. They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes,” Wolff told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“I don’t know how many races we’ve won, or in a row. I didn’t even know that there was a count on how many races in a row you win.
“Therefore asking me for comment on some achievement is difficult because it never played a role in my own life.”
He did, however, add: “But the result itself shows that a great driver in a great car is competing on an extremely high level.”
Christian Horner refused to be drawn into a war of words
Wolff’s comments weren’t the first time Verstappen’s achievements had been downplayed by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton saying he’s “no more impressed” with Verstappen’s success than he was with Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, or Fernando Alonso when they were on top.
He went on to add that he believes Verstappen hasn’t yet faced proper competition from within Red Bull and that his teammates have always been “stronger” than the Dutchman’s have been.
Asked about the comments coming out of Mercedes and whether this will become the latest war of words, Horner replied: “Look, I don’t want to get drawn into commenting on that.
“Max, what he’s doing, he’s breaking records, he’s driving at an unbelievable level.
“And I don’t think there’s anybody in the world right now who could beat Max Verstappen in this car, that’s for sure.”
Pressed as to whether he thinks Mercedes are trying to take the shine off Verstappen’s achievements, the team boss said: “You have to recognise and applaud what Max is doing at the moment. It’s very special, to achieve what he’s achieved.
“We shouldn’t detract from that in any way. In sport, things like this happen very rarely.
“It’s a golden moment for him and certainly a golden moment for the team.”