Marko Hits Back at Wolff’s ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Comment Following Verstappen’s F1 Pole at British GP

Published 07/18/2021, 4:14 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning sprint qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


The 2021 F1 season set off an incredible rivalry between two of the title-contending teams’ bosses – Toto Wolff and Christian Horner. There have been some strong accusations and constant diggings taken at each other. And now, Red Bull F1 boss, Dr. Helmut Marko, couldn’t help but join the battle of words.

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On Friday, the Mercedes boss, Wolff, hailed P1 for Lewis Hamilton in British GP qualifying, as he said, “The empire strikes back.” The Briton marginally fended off Max Verstappen to secure a front-row start for Saturday’s sprint race.

However, it took Verstappen just 1 corner to reclaim the lead in the race, as the Dutchman embraced an incredible getaway at lights out. What’s more, he led the race from start to finish to secure his fourth consecutive pole of the season.

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Helmut Marko counters Mercedes F1 boss’ claim

Speaking to Sky Germany, Marko was absolutely pleased with Verstappen’s dominant result over the F1 sprint and hit back at Wolff’s post-qualifying comments.

Max knew that he had to decide it at the start because overtaking is very difficult here. His start was sensational. He also fended off the attacks. He showed who is the master in the house. Greetings to the empire,” the Austrian said, taking a hilarious dig at Wolff.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen fist bumps Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Consequently, Wolff couldn’t resist but respond to the 78-year-old. The interviewer questioned whether Wolff is looking to greet back the Red Bull advisor. “No. We’re racing tomorrow. It’s clear that he’s happy,” Wolff responded.

Is a Mercedes win possible at Silverstone?

There is good news and bad news for Mercedes ahead of the British Grand Prix. Let’s start with the positive news first.

Verstappen may be on pole for the race; however, unlike in the past, his teammate’s nowhere near him to pile up pressure on the Mercedes drivers.

Instead, Sergio Perez will be starting the race from the pit lane, and there is almost zero possibility that the Mexican will torment either of the Mercedes drivers. Hence, the Brackley outfit might have the freedom of gambling with strategies to catch Red Bull off guard.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the start of sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Now to the bad news.

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Well, it obviously has everything to do with Red Bull’s pace; the sprint portrayed how pacy Verstappen’s Red Bull was.

No amount of push helped Hamilton gain on the Dutchman, as the former continued to be the second-fastest car throughout the short-burst session.

Hence, to even hope for a race win, Hamilton will need to jump ahead of Verstappen during the race start. But will he?

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Rohit Kumar

940 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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