Max Verstappen’s record breaking run had been attracting negative comments from Lewis Hamilton, but the Dutchman believes his rival is simply jealous of his achievements.
Hamilton said Verstappen never had to deal with a tough teammate, like the ones he faced in his Formula 1 career, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claiming the Red Bull RB19 is tailored for Verstappen’s driving style, hence his utter dominance.
When the Red Bull ace took a record breaking ten wins in a row last Sunday after winning the 2023 Italian Grand Prix, Wolff went as far as saying that these records are irrelevant to him. Maybe the record-breaking eight Constructors’ Titles Mercedes bagged between 2014 and 2021 are irrelevant to him as well…
However, Verstappen did not hold back when asked about the comments of the man he beat when securing his first F1 Title in 2021 after as bitter season-long battle that year.
“Maybe Lewis is a bit jealous of my current success,” Verstappen was quoted by De Telegraaf. “He might think he can win something with those kinds of statements, but it doesn’t matter to me.”
“I think Mercedes has a hard time dealing with losing after winning so much for so many years,” he added. “But at some point, you have to be realistic when you know it’s not there.
“Then you have to appreciate what other teams are doing. We’ve always done that in the years when they were dominant.
Mercedes are better off focusing on themselves
“You can keep shouting that what we’re doing isn’t that special or have that tone,” Verstappen went on. “Maybe they don’t always say it, but they think it.
“While you should just focus on yourself. That’s the only thing you have control over. I don’t need these kinds of things,” the soon-to-be Triple F1 Champion concluded.
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, slammed Wolff for his comments claiming the Austrian lacks understanding of how a team and a car are developed, and facing the media after his lead driver won the race at Monza, he was asked about Verstappen’s response to Hamilton’s jibes.
“I don’t want to get drawn into commenting on that,” he said. “I think that Max, what he’s doing is breaking records. He’s driving at an unbelievable level. And I don’t think there’s anybody in the world right now that could beat Max Verstappen in this car, that’s for sure.”
Quizzed whether Mercedes and Hamilton are just trying to to take some shine off Verstappen’s accomplishments, Horner responded: “I think you have to recognize and applaud what Max is doing at the moment.
“It’s very special to achieve what he’s achieved. I think that we shouldn’t detract from that in any way. In sports, very rarely things like this happen, and I think it’s a golden moment for him and certainly a golden moment for the team,” the Briton concluded.