‘Irrelevant’ Max Verstappen win record only for Wikipedia, says Toto Wolff


MONZA, Italy — Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has labelled Max Verstappen’s record of ten consecutive wins “irrelevant”, saying it is simply a number for a Wikipedia statistics page.

After tying Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive wins at the Dutch Grand Prix, Verstappen moved into uncharted territory with his tenth win in a row at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s run of dominance comes during a season in which Red Bull has won every race and is currently on a run of 24 wins from 25 grands prix, dating back to the middle of 2022.

“Our situation was maybe a little bit different because we had two drivers fighting against each other within the team,” Wolff told Sky Sports when asked about Verstappen’s record after the Italian Grand Prix.

“I don’t know whether he cares about the record — it’s not something that would be important for me, any of those numbers.

“It’s for Wikipedia and nobody reads that anyway.”

There were times when Mercedes enjoyed similar levels of dominance in F1 between 2014 and 2020, but the most consecutive wins by one of its drivers topped out at seven for Nico Rosberg across the end of the 2015 season and the start of 2016.

Lewis Hamilton, who holds the record for the most overall race wins with 103 and is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most titles on seven, managed five in a row on two occasions — once in 2014 when Rosberg put an end to his streak at the Brazilian Grand Prix while the pair were fighting for the title and once in 2020 when his run was ended by missing a race with COVID-19.

Speaking in a separate media session later in the evening, Wolff said he did not know the record existed before he was asked about it.

“We just talked about it, for me these types of record are completely irrelevant,” he added. “They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes, I don’t know how many races we won in a row and I didn’t even know that there was a count for how many races in a row you win.

“Therefore, asking me to comment on some achievement is difficult because it never played a role in my whole life. The result itself shows that a great driver in a great car is competing on an extremely high level.”

However, Wolff said he would be impressed if Red Bull is able to go unbeaten for a whole season — a feat no team has been able to achieve in F1 history.

McLaren came closest in 1988 with 15 wins from 16, while Mercedes secured 19 from 21 in 2016.

Asked if there were any races left this season where Red Bull would might be beatable, Wolff said: “No, I think they need to screw it up themselves.

“They are on track to win every race this season and that, by the way, is a record that I would think is a good one, because that is perfection.

“We didn’t make it [in 2016] because our two drivers pushed each other out in Barcelona and then we had an engine failure in Malaysia.”

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