Toto Wolff, the Mercedes Team Principal, has retraced his steps on statements he made following the Italian Grand Prix, conceding that his comments regarding Max Verstappen’s unprecedented race win streak might not have been his "most astute".
Verstappen's Historic Run
At Monza, Verstappen, driving for Red Bull, notched up his 10th consecutive win—a new record in Formula 1 history. His remarkable performance has garnered widespread admiration. However, in the immediate aftermath of the race, Wolff downplayed the significance of such records, suggesting it was merely one for “Wikipedia”.
Wolff stated, “For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant. They were irrelevant in our prime at Mercedes. I didn't even know if there was a tally on successive wins”. He further explained his perspective, “Asking me to comment on such achievements is tricky since it never influenced my entire career.
However, the result undoubtedly highlights an elite driver in a top-tier car operating at peak performance”.
The narrative took a turn in Singapore when Wolff was pressed about his previous statements.
Reflecting on his words, he confessed, “In retrospect, contemplating the context of my comments, one might ponder if it was the wisest remark. Perhaps not”. He added, “Formula 1 operates on merit, and I've reiterated throughout the year that only the best clinch World Championships.
It's crucial to acknowledge the stellar work being done”. Emphasizing the value of accomplishments in the sport, Wolff noted, “Ultimately, they'll secure another significant trophy, and that's what holds the utmost value.
The premier driver in the best car claims the World Championship”.
Mercedes in the Rearview
Switching gears to his own team, Wolff candidly assessed Mercedes' standing this season. Although the Silver Arrows have introduced numerous upgrades and even revamped the W14's design in Monaco, victory has eluded them in 2023.
Speaking on the matter, Wolff opined, “The car from 2022 essentially has the same core framework. Our strategies to enhance the vehicle feel somewhat cyclical and challenging”. He concluded, expressing optimism and determination, “We’re gearing up for some foundational changes next year.
There's substantial potential on the horizon, even though the outcome remains uncertain. But the overarching attitude right now is to go flat-out”.
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