SINGAPORE (AP) — Max Verstappen hit back Thursday at Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff’s dismissal of his Formula One record for consecutive wins and suggested his rivals might do better to draw inspiration from his achievements.
After Verstappen became the first F1 driver to achieve 10 wins in a row at the last race in Italy, Wolff said the mark was “for Wikipedia” and “not something that would be important for me.”
Speaking ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Verstappen said Wolff’s comments stemmed from anger at poor results for Mercedes in Italy and described the team’s race with an expletive. Mercedes had George Russell in fifth and Lewis Hamilton in sixth in Monza as they failed to get close to the Red Bull and Ferrari cars fighting for the podium places.
Verstappen said rivals could draw inspiration from Red Bull’s dominance instead.
“I think it’s just important that you focus on your own team. That’s what we do as well. That’s what we did in the past as well when we were behind them and when they were dominating,” Verstappen said.
“And I think you should be able to appreciate when a team is doing really well, which I think we’ve done in the past, because it worked also as a kind of inspiration to see someone that dominant who 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 of course that we are there and we are enjoying the moment and honestly, that’s all I can say about it.”
Along with the Qatar Grand Prix and the new race in Las Vegas, Singapore is one of only three circuits on the 2023 calendar where Verstappen has yet to win. Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez took the victory last year.
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The Associated Press