Toto Wolff: Red Bull and Verstappen domination is bad for F1

Max Verstappen bids for a record tenth successive F1 victory at the 2023 Italian GP


Toto Wolff agreed Red Bull and Max Verstappen‘s current domination is bad for Formula 1 after the Dutchman equalled Sebastian Vettel‘s record win streak of nine grand prix, but said it was Mercedes‘ problem to solve.

Red Bull are currently extending their record constructor win streak to 14 after the 2023 Dutch GP, while Verstappen has the chance to break Vettel‘s tally at Monza just a week after winning his home race for the third successive year.

Wolff‘s Mercedes won 15 championships in eight years, and were only denied a clean sweep of the 2014-2021 era by the hugely controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.

“I think clear variability and unpredictability is what makes the sport exciting,” Wolff told select members of the press, including “And you want to look at the telly on Sunday and hope for a fight and that’s not the case at the moment.

“But it’s not happening because one team with one driver is just doing a much better job than anybody else.

“And so we need to acknowledge that it’s up to us to find solutions that leapfrog us to a certain degree because seven-tenths is not something you find from one race to the other.”

Zandvoort didn’t provide Verstappen with the most comfortable race win of his nine on the bounce, but he always looked good to take the historic victory with the main fight centring around the podium positions behind.

That’s after Verstappen won the Hungarian and Belgian GPs by over 30 seconds to the fastest none-Red Bull car before the summer break.

Wolff: Mercedes inspired by McLaren and Aston Martin

Max Verstappen leads McLaren’s Lando Norris, Mercedes’ George Russell, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the Williams of Alex Albon at the 2023 Dutch GP | | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

However, Wolff acknowledged Mercedes‘ uphill task isn’t impossible. McLaren have gone from being comfortably the worst team in F1 after 2023 pre-season testing and the curtain-raiser Bahrain GP, where Oscar Piastri became the first retirement of the season just 13 laps in and Lando Norris was forced to pit six times managing a hydraulics issue.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin picked up the most podiums of any team behind Red Bull in the first half of the season, just a few months removed from trailing home second in the 2022 constructors’ championship.

“We’ve seen it with McLaren that one update basically changed their performance levels considerably,” Wolff added. “And the same with Aston Martin over the winter. So it’s possible and it’s up to us to get up there.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for and in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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