Max Verstappen made Formula 1 history at Monza on Sunday with a record 10th win in a row, and 12th of the season, but Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff sounded unimpressed by the Red Bull driver’s achievement.
The one-two Italian Grand Prix victory was also Red Bull’s 15th in succession, and 14th out of 14 so far in a 22-round season.
“For me these kinds of records are completely irrelevant,” Wolff, whose team won an unprecedented eight F1 Constructors’ Titles in a row from 2014-21, told reporters.
“They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes. I don’t know how many races we won in a row. I didn’t even know that there was a count of how many races in a row you win,” added the Austrian.
“It never played a role in my whole life. It’s yesterday. But the result itself shows a great driver in a great car who is competing on an extremely high level,” he insisted.
Verstappen, who has often appeared to care little about records and carving a place among the greats of the sport, admitted after taking the chequered flag that the record was a “nice stat”. Team boss Christian Horner also told reporters it definitely meant something to the Dutch driver.
“We’re making history and its not often you get the chance to do that,” the Red Bull boss added.
Verstappen’s record an achievement other F1 greats couldn’t fulfil
In the early days of the F1 World Championship, which started in 1950, seasons had fewer than 10 races whereas now they run to more than 20 and next year is scheduled to have a record 23.
Even greats like seven-time F1 World Champions Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton did not come close to 10 in a row in their most dominant campaigns, however. Schumacher managed seven on the trot in 2004 while Hamilton did five in a row in 2014 and 2020.
Retired four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a streak of nine in a row in 2013, also with Red Bull, while Italian Alberto Ascari won nine consecutively over two seasons in 1952-53.
That latter run remains contentious because the Indianapolis 500 was considered a round of the Championship in those days but few F1 drivers entered.
Wolff recognised Red Bull could ultimately win every race this season, something that no team has ever done.
“I think they need to screw it up themselves in order not to win every race this season. That by the way, that record, I think that’s a good one,” he added. “Because that is perfection.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)