Toto Wolff breaks silence on Lewis Hamilton’s war of words with Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have fired numerous shots at one another in the media in recent weeks.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has downplayed the recent war of words between Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, considering it as nothing more than banter in the sport. 

This exchange of verbal blows started during the Italian Grand Prix weekend when Hamilton questioned Verstappen’s teammates’ capabilities and the extent of his F1 achievements.

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, stirred the pot with a well-timed jibe at his Dutch rival, stating, “Verstappen’s F1 success has been blown up much more than my own.” 

This comment ignited the rivalry further as Verstappen responded by suggesting that Hamilton was “jealous” of his remarkable achievements in the 2023 season.

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Verstappen, who recently secured a record-breaking 10th consecutive victory at Monza, didn’t stop there, saying, “I think Mercedes have a very hard time dealing with losing, after all these years of winning so much.”

However, Toto Wolff, the calm and collected head of Mercedes, chose to play down the escalating tension between the two titans of the sport. “First of all, it’s obvious that the drivers like to poke each other a bit,” Wolff commented. 

“But then you can say that Lewis has raced three World Champions. 

“He raced Jenson, he raced Fernando, and he raced Nico. 

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“But I don’t want to in any way diminish anybody’s performance because Max in the car is outstanding. 

“So it’s just part of the fun.”

Wolff also clarified his perspective on Verstappen’s incredible dominance, especially after his initial dismissal of it during a post-race interview with Sky. 

He had previously stated that Verstappen’s historic win was merely “for Wikipedia.”

“For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant,” Wolff explained. “They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes. 

“I don’t know how many races we’ve won, or in a row. 

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“I didn’t even know that there was a count on how many races in a row you win. 

“Therefore asking me for comment on some achievement is difficult because it never played a role in my own life. 

“But the result itself shows that a great driver in a great car are competing on an extremely high level.”