“Drove a Worse Car With the Knife Between His Teeth & Won”: Wolff Heaps Praise on Max Verstappen’s 2021 Resilience Against Hamilton

Published 05/18/2022, 11:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Miami Grand Prix REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

Max Verstappen did something many thought was impossible – he beat Lewis Hamilton to a world championship in 2021. His fierce rivalry with the Brit made many headlines during last season. Moreover, this rivalry also resulted in some great racing, much to the satisfaction of the fans. However, many, including Toto Wolff, believe the Dutchman did not have the fastest car last year.

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Fast forward to 2022, with new regulations in place, Mercedes has been struggling in terms of pace. The new era has not been kind to them. At the same time, Red Bull has capitalized on the Silver Arrows’ struggles and the Dutch driver is in contention for the championship again.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

In Verstappen, they have one of the best drivers on the grid. After suffering from reliability issues in the early races, the reigning world champion is right back in contention after winning in Imola and Miami. This time, Wolff has revealed he has the fastest car on the grid.

Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen has the fastest car this season

The last era was a grand success for the Brackley-based outfit. With Hamilton at the helm, there was no doubting them as they swept all the titles on offer. As F1 announced new changes from 2022, Red Bull had the last laugh in 2021.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the Miami Grand Prix with the Miami Dolphin’s helmet REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Verstappen’s performance last season was stunning, to say the least, as he took home the championship. And the Bulls have had a solid start to the 2022 season as well. Toto Wolff admitted the Dutchman outperformed them in 2021 and is carrying the momentum this season.

The Austrian said, “Last year Max drove a worse car with the knife between his teeth and won the world title. Now he has the fastest car and everything is easier for him.”

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Toto’s words will be music to the ears of Red Bull fans. However, this will certainly not please the Ferrari faithful. Leclerc currently heads the pack, but Verstappen is closing in with only 19 points separating the two.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 23, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the sprint race alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who finished second REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/Pool

The Prancing Horse is preparing for upgrades as F1 moves to Barcelona. They will hope to match Red Bull’s pace as the season progresses. Meanwhile, the Silver Arrows are nowhere near the top two as Hamilton’s hopes of an 8th title are slipping away.

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What was viewed as a three-horse race has quickly become a two-horse race. Can Leclerc and Ferrari outperform the in-form Red Bull? We will have to wait and watch.

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Rahul Madhavan

382 articles

Rahul Madhavan is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Bachelor's degree in business administration, he is pursuing his love for sports in the form of writing. Rahul is an avid McLaren fan, who also enjoys writing about soccer.

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