Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff has mentioned that he is appreciative of the intense Mercedes-Red Bull rivalry this season.
Last season was largely uneventful rivalry-wise, because Mercedes had no competition. This season, however, has an outstanding championship rivalry being contested between two drivers and their respective constructors. The former is also happening off-track, with the two trading verbal barbs recently.
However, Wolff said he chooses to observe the proceedings instead of being involved. He feels all aspects of the rivalry can be classified as entertaining. “It is great. We have a fight between outstanding drivers, the championship has swung in both directions and things are being said which are good for entertainment,” Wolff said.
“I would attribute that sentence to the entertainment factor and great to talk about and write about it. This is action on the track and also off the track,” he concluded.
This rivalry is also not like the mad Hamilton versus Rosberg one, where both drivers were at each other’s’ throats. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen have avoided contact with each other on track so far. There is massive respect between them, even if they do not exactly like one another.
Cold response from Verstappen
Ahead of the race weekend at Monaco, Hamilton had some choice words for Verstappen, saying he still had a lot to prove. Verstappen didn’t take this well, and he did his talking both off-track and on it at Monaco. He clinched P1, while Hamilton had to settle for P7. Afterwards, he delivered another response to the Brit, clearly taking a dig at him.
“First of all, actions always speak louder than words. I think that’s a good lesson after this weekend. You know you have to talk on the track. That’s what I like,” he said.
Hamilton will surely look to derail the Dutchman’s momentum, while Mercedes will look to leapfrog their title rivals. The next stop is Azerbaijan, and it could be a crucial battle for this war on both fronts.