Max Verstappen making Red Bull rivals look like Formula Two cars – Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen’s dominance of the sport is so one-sided that he is making the rest of the grid look like they are racing in a junior category.

Verstappen took his ninth win of the season, extending Red Bull’s unbeaten streak to 11 from 11 this year with just one race remaining before the summer break.

The Dutchman, now a staggering 110 points clear in the championship, finished more than half-a-minute clear of his rivals following another supreme showing in his supreme Red Bull machine.

Toto Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said Max Verstappen’s dominance of the sport is so one-sided that he is making the rest look like they are driving Formula Two cars (Tim Goode/PA)

McLaren’s Lando Norris was runner-up – scoring consecutive podium finishes for the first time in his career – with pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton only fourth and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell sixth.

“It was like a bunch of Formula Two cars against a Formula One car,” said Wolff.

“In the F2 gang, our car was quick. The F1 car won by 33 seconds.

“We had the second quickest car today, and obviously we can talk it up and say we could have been second, but that’s irrelevant because you have a car that finished 39 seconds ahead [of Hamilton], and was probably cruising a lot of the time.

“We are going to fight back and win races and championships, but we saw the pace Max had, and that’s the bitter reality.

“But it’s a meritocracy, and as long as you’re moving within the regulations, then we need to acknowledge Red Bull has just done a better job.”

Hamilton has now gone 34 appearances without a victory – the longest streak of his career – while Verstappen has triumphed 24 times during the same period, moving him to 44 career wins.

Verstappen’s Red Bull set a new record of 12 consecutive wins on Sunday, with Mercedes’ unprecedented 19 victories in a single campaign under threat.

At the midway stage of this 22-round campaign, the world champions also remain on course to become the first team to complete the perfect season.

However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps – which includes a sprint race and the possibility of rain – Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was keen to guard against complacency.

Horner said: “How long can we keep this winning run going? Who knows?

“We’ve got another challenge next weekend, a sprint race, with the variable conditions of Spa. Anything can happen, so we’re really just taking it pretty much one event at a time.”

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