Mercedes boss Toto Wolff referred to as Max Verstappen’s drive into the Formula One document books at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix “completely irrelevant”.
Verstappen went behind enemy traces in Ferrari’s yard to battle his well past Carlos Sainz’s scarlet automobile and develop into the primary driver within the sport’s 73-year historical past to win 10 consecutive races.
The Dutchman, now a victor at 12 of the 14 rounds up to now, bettered the document he had shared with Sebastian Vettel. Verstappen has not misplaced a race because the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30, 126 days in the past.
Sergio Perez completed runner-up as Red Bull – who stay unbeaten this season – claimed a one-two end, with pole-sitter Sainz third forward of team-mate Charles Leclerc. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton completed fifth and sixth for Mercedes.
Hamilton’s Mercedes equipment carried him to 6 world championships in seven seasons, however the British driver was by no means capable of win greater than 5 successive races. The greatest Michael Schumacher, so dominant in his Ferrari on the flip of the century, may handle was seven.
Yet, regardless of Verstappen’s historic streak, Wolff discovered it tough to precise reward for Red Bull’s star man.
“For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant,” he mentioned. “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 wins in a row, so if you are asking me to comment on the achievement it is difficult, because it never played a role in my own life until I heard about it yesterday.
“The result itself shows a great driver in a great car, who are competing on an extremely high level.”
Wolff’s lacklustre appraisal got here after Hamilton devalued the power of Verstappen’s team-mates in an interview on Italian tv on Thursday. Verstappen responded within the Dutch media by suggesting Hamilton was “jealous” of his present success.
Hamilton was then requested about Verstappen’s record-breaking run after Sunday’s 51-lap race.
“I had strong team-mates,” he replied. “Valtteri (Bottas) was quick a lot of times. I don’t care about statistics in general. Good for him.”
Since he claimed his maiden title on the controversial season-ending Abu Dhabi race in 2021 – denying Hamilton a document eighth championship – Verstappen has received 27 of the 36 races staged. In his final 25 appearances, Verstappen has did not win simply 4 instances.
“What Max is doing is breaking records and driving at an unbelievable level,” mentioned Red Bull staff principal Christian Horner.
“I don’t think there is anybody in the world at the moment that can beat Max Verstappen in this car, that’s for sure.
“You have to recognise and applaud what Max is doing. It is very special to achieve what he has achieved and we shouldn’t detract from that in any way.
“In sport it is very rare that something like this happens and it is a golden moment for him and certainly a golden moment for the team.”
Verstappen was made to attend 14 laps and a handful of corners earlier than he assumed the lead of Sunday’s race on the Variante della Roggia. From there, he by no means regarded again to seal one other crushing win and transfer 145 factors clear within the standings.
There stays an outdoor probability he might be topped champion of the world for a 3rd time as early because the Japanese Grand Prix in three weeks with half-a-dozen rounds nonetheless remaining.
“I never would have believed that it was possible,” mentioned Verstappen after his document triumph. “But we had to work for it today and that definitely made it a lot more fun.”