Mercedes boss Toto Wolff gives title backing to ‘brilliant’ Red Bull rival Max Verstappen

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DESPITE Crimson Bull being Mercedes’ greatest rivals, Toto Wolff has backed Max Verstappen to win extra world titles.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff gives title backing to 'brilliant' Red Bull rival Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen will win extra world titles (Picture: GETTY)

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Toto Wolff has heaped reward on the “sensible” Crimson Bull racer Max Verstappen and backed him to win extra world titles in his profession. Charles Leclerc has set the early-season tempo this 12 months, with Verstappen failing to complete in two of the opening three races.

It could be seen as a considerably shocking prediction, contemplating Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the title in 2021 in acrimonious circumstances which left Mercedes and Wolff himself livid. However it seems the Austrian was not dwelling on that injustice as he made his 2022 prediction.

“[Last season’s success] was not Max’s final title,” the Mercedes chief instructed Dutch newpaper De Telegraaf. “He is an excellent driver. It is fully regular that the battle was so intense final 12 months. It is a part of racing.”

He went on so as to add: “If the scenario had been reversed, we’d have claimed the trophy and been comfortable about it. Max carried out strongly all final 12 months and he missed out on lots of factors. He deserved to be world champion.”

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Wolff additionally spoke of rumours that there was a rift between him and the Dutch racer stemming again a number of years, to when he turned the Silver Arrows down as a younger F1 wannabe in 2014. As a substitute, he caught with Crimson Bull – a partnership which, after a number of seasons, has lastly bore fruit.

However the Austrian denied that any such unhealthy blood exists, regardless that he was lower than sympathetic after an enormous crash at Silverstone final season which noticed Verstappen taken to hospital. He stated: “It is true that there have been some controversial moments final 12 months. Everybody has their very own view on the matter, their very own notion of it.

“Typically, the reality lies within the center. However in the event you ask me personally, I feel Max could be very mature and clever, fairly aside from his qualities as a driver at his age. I’ve lots of respect for him and for his father, Jos. That may by no means change, whatever the discussions which have been occurring.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff gives title backing to 'brilliant' Red Bull rival Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc leads the championship after the primary three races (Picture: GETTY)

Wolff additionally spoke about his personal crew, and echoed his trustworthy assertions concerning the scenario the crew finds itself in. The Silver Arrows now not set the usual, and after dominating the game for yearly because the starting of the Hybrid Period in 2014, they discover themselves enjoying catch-up to Crimson Bull and Ferrari.

He has not but written off Mercedes’ probabilities of success this 12 months, although, including: “My first thought was that this can be a repeat of my first 12 months in 2013 – however that was simpler than it’s now. We had a quick automotive then, however particularly issues with managing the tires in the course of the race. Now we have now two groups and 4 drivers who’re extra aggressive than us.

“We nonetheless imagine this idea can work. The scenario will not be there in a number of days. It is a improbable problem for us, as a crew. We’ve good individuals and two nice drivers in Lewis and George Russell. We wish to show we will get well and struggle again. However Crimson Bull and Ferrari have it higher in the mean time – and we have now to be humble about that.”

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