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Only Red Bull ‘screw up’ will prevent F1 clean sweep, says Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said only Red Bull ‘screwing things up’ itself will prevent it from delivering a clean sweep in Formula 1 this season.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates his record 10th consecutive win on arrival in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen took a record 10th consecutive F1 victory at the Italian Grand Prix as he overcame a strong challenge from Ferrari to continue Red Bull’s perfect run in F1 2023. 

And although there are still eight races to go at a variety of tracks, rivals are sceptical about there being any normal circumstances under which Red Bull’s dominance can be stopped. 

PLUS: Why Sainz was able to make F1's 2023 Italian GP as good as it was

For Wolff, whose Mercedes team remains the last squad to have won a race before Red Bull's run when it triumphed at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, there is no suggestion that any of the remaining circuits offer a better chance than Monza of stopping F1's dominant outfit. 

“I think they need to screw it up themselves in order not to win every race this season,” said Wolff, who went on to suggest that it would be an impressive feat if Red Bull secured a perfect win haul. 

“And by the way, that's a record I would think is a good one because that is perfection. We didn't make it because our two pushed each other out in Barcelona [in 2016] and then we had an engine failure in Malaysia.” 

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images

Wolff's reference to the importance of the clean-sweep record comes after he dismissed the value of Verstappen's 10th successive win at Monza.

“For me these kinds of records are completely irrelevant,” he said. “They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes, and 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 races you win.

“Therefore, asking me to comment on some achievement is difficult because it never played a role in my whole life. But the result itself shows that a great driver in a great car is competing on an extremely high level.” 

While Red Bull has hailed Verstappen’s record-breaking 10th consecutive win, the team is still not getting carried away about the prospects of going for the clean sweep. 

Team principal Christian Horner said the next race in Singapore would perhaps offer one of the biggest challenges of the season.

“We’ve won 14 races out of 14 so far, so to be leaving the European season undefeated is something we could have never imagined,” he said.

“To win a grand prix is hard enough, to win 14 in a row, or 24 out of the last 25, that means every single member of the team is doing their part.

“We’re racing against some massive opponents, and we're just taking it one race at a time. The next race in Singapore, it’s a street circuit, it's one of the toughest on the calendar. We saw last year how perilous it can be, so we just do our best to keep this momentum running.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, celebrate with their team after the race

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, celebrate with their team after the race

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Despite Verstappen continuing his winning streak, Wolff believed that the Italian GP had offered some good entertainment thanks to Ferrari taking the fight to Red Bull. 

“I think it's good that Ferrari is on the podium and maybe they deserved it a little bit more,” he said.

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“It was quite entertaining at the end, watching it. I had some flashback memories that came to my mind of are we interfering or are we letting them push each other out?  

“I think [it was a] great, great spectacle for the tifosi. It gave some good entertainment and it's just an unbelievable ambience here. It doesn't go any better than Monza.” 

Additional reporting by Megan White

 

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