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Formula 1 Japanese GP

Vettel: Wrong to dismiss Verstappen's brilliance in F1 2023

Sebastian Vettel has said the dismissal of Max Verstappen's record-breaking achievements in Formula 1 this year is totally wrong and that everyone should feel "lucky" to witness it.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, talk at the end of the race

Verstappen broke Vettel's record for the most successive wins in F1 history at the Italian Grand Prix, when the Red Bull driver took his 10th consecutive victory.

That success triggered some controversy when Mercedes boss Toto Wolff later downplayed the significance of the achievement, stating that it was something totally irrelevant to him.

"I don't know if [Verstappen] cares about the records. It is not something that would be important for me, those numbers," he told Sky Sports.

"It is for Wikipedia, and nobody reads that anyway."

Wolff later clarified that his choice of words was probably not the most intelligent to make, as he was left on the receiving end of some criticism.

Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix on Thursday, Vettel said that Verstappen could not be praised enough for everything that he had achieved and the way he was driving so brilliantly.

"I think people don't like watching the same driver win," said Vettel, speaking at the launch of his 'Buzzin' Corner' biodiversity project.

"There's Max today. There was Lewis. There was myself. There was Mika [Hakkinen] at the time, and there was Michael [Schumacher] obviously, throughout a long time.

"So, I think it's part of the sport. But it's really you should be lucky that you're able to witness history in the making. And what Max pulled off this year is amazing.

Sebastian Vettel with his biodiversity project at Turn 2

Sebastian Vettel with his biodiversity project at Turn 2

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"His car is amazing, but even more so it's his efforts. He didn't do a mistake, so you can't give him enough credit."

Vettel's launch of his biodiversity project attracted the backing of all 20 drivers on Thursday, with the Turn 2 kerbs also having been painted yellow and black this weekend in support.

The German admitted it would be a weekend he would miss being in an F1 car, but he would be able to keep a close eye on the action from his insect hotel area.

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Vettel has been linked with taking on some kind of environmental role with F1 in the past but said there is nothing on the table yet.

"I speak to Stefano [Domenicali], but we will see. Obviously, I just want to create a buzz around the topic, because it's important to me," he added.

"I feel it should be important to all of us, because it does concern all of us. We'll see what happens after."

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