In recent years, Red Bull and Mercedes have been involved in a rather intense rivalry. While it hasn’t quite been that intense this year owing to Mercedes’ initial design flaw that saw it slip far behind Red Bull, the nature of Max Verstappen’s 2021 title triumph is still weighing heavy on the Mercedes hierarchy.
At least that is the opinion of the Dutchman, who recently made it successive world championships, this time sealing the deal with five races to spare.
With reports circulating about Red bull breaching the 2021 budget cap, there was some initial optimism from the Mercedes camp that it could even lead to a points deduction from the driver’s 2021 tally.
In all likelihood, that would have made Lewis Hamilton the world champion and made it a double for Mercedes in terms of constructors’ and drivers’ championships.
Verstappen has viewed this as nothing more than wishful thinking stemming out of deep pain from his maiden title, a loss that he believes both Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are struggling to come to terms with.
Verstappen thinks Mercedes and Hamilton are ‘sour’
“They are sour anyway, it no longer matters what you say or do. I can let it go and they probably can’t, they will never be able to and it is a problem for them,” he said.
Verstappen expressed his opinion regarding the cost cap saga.
“I’m not involved in it but it’s a bit frustrating, we believe we have done nothing wrong. It turned out that some things fell under the budget ceiling that we had not expected. But in the end, it’s not up to me.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently came out in defence of Verstappen after the driver was booed as they approached the stage for an interview.
Wolff told Sky Germany, “That is unacceptable. The booing, whether it’s on the podium or on the fan stage, nobody wants to see that.
“I think we (F1) have done a lot against this kind of behaviour. It is somewhat contained, and it doesn’t belong here either. Something like that should not happen.”