2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has insisted that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is “normally” gracious in defeat, something he showed no signs of last weekend at the Italian Grand Prix.
Wolff has been criticised by ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle and 1996 World Champion Damon Hill, for the way in which he responded to Max Verstappen breaking an incredible record at Monza.
The reigning World Champion’s 12th victory of the season last Sunday also marked his 10th consecutive victory, which saw him eclipse Sebastian Vettel’s record for nine wins in a row.
It’s a record which many didn’t think would ever get broken, yet Verstappen has smashed it out of the park.
As well as that, Red Bull are continuing to set a new benchmark for the most consecutive wins by a team, with the Austrians having now claimed a staggering 15 wins in a row.
To put it into perspective, Mercedes only ever managed to claim 10 wins in a row.
Wolff was asked to comment on Verstappen’s achievement last Sunday, where he surprisingly stated that the record is just “for Wikipedia”.
“Our situation was maybe a little bit different because we had two drivers fighting against each other within the team,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
“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.”
Wolff has been slammed for being unsportsmanlike and a sore loser, something Rosberg insists isn’t usually the case.
The ex-Mercedes driver simply believes the Austrian “got in a moment” because of the Silver Arrows’ disappointing performance, which put Wolff in a frustrated state.
“I think Toto got in a moment there where he was not too happy about his own race team’s performance on the weekend,” Rosberg said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.
“Because of course where they finished, fifth and sixth, miles behind Ferrari and Red Bull is not really the goal.
“So I think Toto was just a bit down there and that made his answer a bit darker and not quite as gracious.
“Not quite as gracious as perhaps he would normally be because I think the right answer would have been hats off and respect to Red Bull for their achievements.”