Verstappen will win titles once he curbs "raw edges" - Wolff

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes that Max Verstappen will be a world champion once the “raw edges are off.”

Verstappen will win titles once he curbs "raw edges" - Wolff

Wolff said that the Dutchman’s clashes with Esteban Ocon on and off the track in Interlagos indicated that he still has some learning to do.

The Mercedes chief has long been a fan of Verstappen, having tried to sign him before he made a commitment to Red Bull.

“You can see that there is a future champion coming together,” said Wolff when asked how big a threat Verstappen will be next season. “Unbelievable talent and speed.

"And I think once the raw edges are off, he will be somebody who will be a world champion one day.

“In a few years he will look at the footage of today and maybe have his own opinion about whether that was the right behaviour or not.

"But you can't accelerate these things, this is a learning process.”

Wolff defended the actions of Mercedes protege Ocon, who was penalised for the clash with Verstappen.

"Emotions are running high, and I think that the incident was unfortunate. He was on a new tyre, much faster, tried to unlap himself, which is fair enough.

“Then they crashed and because Max was in the lead that was an incident that I'm sure Esteban would have wanted to avoid, rather than being out there in the press with all the criticism.”

Like Wolff, Mercedes' world drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton - who inherited the race lead after the incident in question and went on to win the race - defended Ocon’s actions in trying to pass Verstappen.

“I'm pretty sure there's no rule that says you can't unlap yourself,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “I've done it before. Ultimately when you're in Ocon's position you've got nothing to lose.

“You want to get through, you've got much quicker tyres, and you're trapped. If you've got much quicker tyres and the guy on front is not pushing flat out, which Max wasn't, he was saving his tyres, so he's cruising and holding him up, you're going to go for it and try and get by and move yourself forwards.”

“From my seat it didn't feel like it was 100% one side, more like maybe 60/40, who knows."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, passes a spinning Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, after the latter suffers a collision with Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11 Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, passes a spinning Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, after the latter suffers a collision with Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11 Mercedes.

Photo by: Andy Hone / LAT Images

shares
comments
Fittipaldi signing addresses Haas sim weakness - Grosjean

Previous article

Fittipaldi signing addresses Haas sim weakness - Grosjean

Next article

F1 teams wary of overtaking impact of 2019 changes

F1 teams wary of overtaking impact of 2019 changes
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021