Wolff: Verstappen a title threat after recent F1 wins, Hungary pole

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says Max Verstappen must be considered a title threat after the Red Bull driver followed up his two recent wins with pole in Hungary

Wolff: Verstappen a title threat after recent F1 wins, Hungary pole

There are 10 rounds of the 2019 season remaining, and Verstappen is 63 points adrift of points leader Lewis Hamilton, and just 22 behind Valtteri Bottas's second place.

Verstappen has finished in the top five in every race of 2019 so far and has outscored the two Mercedes drivers over the last four races.

When asked if Verstappen was a title threat, Wolff replied: "Yes - there are 10 more races to go, so 260 points to score. What's our advantage? 60-odd.

"You can see from the sheer maths that Max is somebody we need to take seriously and consider as a title rival in the same way we need to consider the two Ferrari drivers as title rivals.

"We cannot afford to take the foot off the throttle."

After being beaten to pole at the Hungaroring by Verstappen, Bottas said that Red Bull and Honda's recent surge will only encourage Mercedes to work harder.

"Obviously it always depends on the tracks and circumstances," he said.

"But if you look at the trend, let's say from the last five races, Red Bull has been the one improving the most - closing the gap and today qualifying on pole.

"So, for sure they are doing many things right, and that means we have to work harder as a team. But I'm sure Ferrari isn't standing still either."

Wolff echoed his driver's sentiments when asked about Bottas's comments by Autosport.

"I think he's damn right," he said. "We had a good streak of success, and it feels now that the push that we probably need to do is even more [necessary].

"The others are catching up, and it's easier to catch up than to maintain the level and set the benchmark.

"There's a reason why no one ever won six consecutive drivers' and constructors' championships, because it is not easy.

"I guess we all know that, but we've got to push harder and smarter in order to stay ahead."

shares
comments
Russell: P16 F1 Hungarian GP grid spot "like a pole" for Williams

Previous article

Russell: P16 F1 Hungarian GP grid spot "like a pole" for Williams

Next article

Ricciardo: I wasn't trying to screw Perez in Hungarian GP qualifying

Ricciardo: I wasn't trying to screw Perez in Hungarian GP qualifying
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021