Wolff backpedals on Verstappen smear

Smears and counter comments between Merecedes and Red Bull in the media seem never ending, but Toto Wolff has attempted to explain and qualify his allegedly disrespectful statement about Max Verstappen’s record run in Monza.

The Mercedes motorsport boss said after the Dutch Red Bull Formula One driver’s tenth victory in Monza: “I don’t know if Verstappen is interested in the record – it’s not important to me, none of these numbers. It’s for Wikipedia and nobody reads it anyway,”



Wikipedia statements not “the most intelligent thing”

Now, speaking on the sidelines of the Singapore Grand Prix, Wolff explained: “If you look at the comments under the circumstances, you can ask yourself: Was that the smartest thing I could have said? Maybe not”.

The 51-year-old Viennese insisted that he had said many times this year that only the best would win the World Championship. “And you have to recognise what a great job is being done here.”

Verstappen cannot mathematically win a third consecutive title in Singapore, but depending on the outcome of the race in Suzuka, Japan, a week later, he can.

With a 145-point lead over team-mate Sergio Pérez, there is no question that the 25-year-old Red Bull driver will be crowned world champion again. Even if he had problems with his car on the street circuit on Friday.



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“Formula 1 is a meritocracy”

“The best in the best car wins the world championship,” emphasised Wolff, who himself shaped an era of victories and titles with Mercedes and, above all, record world champion Lewis Hamilton: “Formula 1 is a performance society,”

Verstappen countered Wolff’s comment with a smile and a small tip of his own. He is not disappointed.

“But they had a pretty shitty race, he was probably still angry about their performance,” he said in Singapore. Sometimes Wolff sounds like he is an employee of Red Bull. Fortunately, he wasn’t, said Verstappen.


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Wolff tries to justify his comments using the Lauda name

The Mercedes team boss then explained that it was something he picked up from Niki Lauda, who exchanged his trophies for a free car wash. “You won’t find any memorabilia with me either. These numbers have never played a role for us,” said Wolff.

Lauda was known for giving away all of his trophies won to his local garage in exchange for his car to be washed and serviced during his Ferrari years in the 1970’s.

“I binned them all, you’re absolutely right, because in my time they were most of them ugly and for me useless,” said the Austrian legend who is now sadly deceased. 


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“I said ‘If you give me a free car wash for the rest of my life you can have all of them’, and that is what I did,” said Lauda.

“The guy died unfortunately and his son was running the petrol station but they were so demolished and terribly kept there, that a friend of mine took them away, polished them and then my kids took them and put them on eBay.

“Now I have to pay for it (the car wash).”

READ MORE: Horner responds to Hamilton demands over Marko




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