It’s not often rival teams heap praise on another driver, and the last person you’d expect to compliment Max Verstappen for his drive in the Brazilian Grand Prix is Toto Wolff. After all, he phoned Max’s Dad Jos before the race to ask him to stay out of the way of the championship battle under the delusion that his words would actually have any effect.
But after Max’s performance Toto was left with nothing but praise for the Red Bull driver: “The Verstappen show. This is unbelievable. The Verstappen show. Unbelievable driving, and great entertainment. Physics are being redefined” he commented.
How does that humble pie taste, Toto? Of course he can afford to be happy because his drivers performed well and finished 1-2, although Max was running between them at one point during the race.
Jos Verstappen also revealed that Toto had told him the same thing in person after the race: “I didn’t call him but I met him. I will tell you also what he said to me: ‘We are racing for the championship but today was a Verstappen show’. I think he was right, he was really good.”
Wolff wasn’t the only Mercedes person to give praise to Max – immediately after the race Niki Lauda doffed his cap to a very proud Jos.
Wait, Niki Lauda’s hat actually comes off? You learn something new every day.
A proper racer, Niki often appreciates good races regardless of his ties to Mercedes. Speaking after the race he said to Sky Sports F1: “This race was incredible to watch, though I did not understand with the Safety Car start. Lewis and Nico did a perfect job coming first and second. Verstappen was outstanding, the way he passed everybody so it was an interesting race.”
Lauda continued in his admiration of Verstappen: “He did the job, unbelievable, the way he passed it was just incredible. I knew the guy is good but he proved to everybody what he can do.”
High praise indeed, but perhaps Max’s biggest achievement came in the cooldown room after the race:
Good grief. As well as driving through the field, Max Verstappen has managedto get Lewis and Nico involved in the same conversation.
— Richard Williams (@rwilliams1947) November 13, 2016
The boy can do anything!