Wolff: Verstappen won title in a slower car

The debate has raged in F1 for decades over what matters more? The driver or the car? Lewis Hamilton fans believe he won his 6 titles with Mercedes due to him being a better driver than the rest of the field, whilst others would argue he had the car with the biggest advantage in F1 history.

Mercedes of course won 8 straight constructors’ titles, a feat never before seen in Formula 1. In fact only three teams have ever won 4 or more consecutive titles. McLaren in the Senna/Prost era managed 4, Ferrari with Schumacher had a haul of 6 on the bounce and most recently Red Bull and Vettel managed to win the last 4 of the V8 era.

Read into this what you will, but F1’s prototype formula does mean the car is more important than the driver.

Toto Wolff is hardly a self deprecating character and at times has demonstrated more than questionable sportsmanship. Most recently obvious in his demands the FIA sack their race director Michael Massi because Wolff believes his decisions in the 2021 title decider were biased against his racer.

 

So surprisingly speaking to Austrian outlet oe24, the Mercedes boss revealed he believed Max Verstappen won his 2021 title in a ‘slower car’. “Last year Max drove a worse car to the maximum and won the title. Now he has the fastest car, everything is easier for him, the pendulum is swinging in his favour.”

And before we get anal about the Austrian’s grasp of English and semantics, his point is clear, Max now has the fastest car, so clearly he didn’t when he won his title.

Despite his champion driver’s woeful start to the season, Toto is bullish stating;

“WE’VE NOT WRITTEN OFF THE TITLE, NOT AT ALL. WE’RE ONLY IN THE FIFTH RACE, YOU CAN’T WRITE ANYTHING OFF YET, IT CAN SWING IN OUR DIRECTION AGAIN.”

 

This is clearly at odds with Lewis Hamilton’s view of his predicament. “We’re obviously not fighting for this championship,” the Brit told Sky Sports television after finishing 14th in a Saturday sprint that set the starting grid for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

His position deteriorated further in Miami as he finished 6th Behind his team mate again and Mercedes scoring less points than the leading constructors of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Whilst Toto may have inadvertently revealed Max Verstappen had a slower car than Lewis in 2021 as he tried to make the point everything is easier for the Dutchman this year, it is in interesting addition to the debate about the car? The driver?

Who matters more?

More interestingly is the lack of consensus in Mercedes over where their aspirations should be this year. Hamilton has written it off whilst his boss believes there is yet hope.

 

 

5 responses to “Wolff: Verstappen won title in a slower car

  1. Nice. All those Hamilton fans shouting Max had the fastest car last year… :). I do agree however that MB can still fight for the championship. Still18 races to go is 18×7 points extra for a win. LH is only 68 behind …

    • You need to read what was actually said. They are comparing last year’s car with this year’s car which is faster. They are comparing the gap to the competition.

  2. Even if MB somehow (more by crook than by hook as is their wont) bring their car upto the level of Ferrari or Red Bull, or even beyond them, Russell will not be twiddling his thumbs and letting Ham past. Wolff is sure to issue orders but I doubt if Russell will be another Bottas. My heart bleeds for Bottas who received such unjust treatment. Earlier, Wolff did the same to Rosberg.

    • Why by crook? And unlike RB when Horner stated in America that Chico if he passed the Ferrari and was 2nd would not be allowed to pass Max as they wanted more points. Yet if he passed max they would still have the same points. Mercedes, and other teams actually will let the racers race each other. So as long as mercedes have a driver on top they don’t care. And who knows what will happen when the car is set up the way Hamilton drives? Russel may struggle. Either way they are both allowed to race each other unlike Max and his follower.

  3. At no point did toto say that max had a slower car?? He has said that max’s car last year was worse than this year, and that’s clear if you listen to the whole statement not just a snippet.

    Red bull clearly had the better car until Silverstone, from Silverstone onwards I believe MB had the better car. Unfortunately several off the races from Silverstone onwards were a sh*t show, with a big crash and a race that was rained off.

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