Sebastian Vettel believes its wrong to belittle the record achievements this season of Max Verstappen, insisting F1 fans should consider themselves lucky to witness the Red Bull driver’s historic success.
At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza earlier this month, Verstappen set a new milestone of ten consecutive wins in F1, beating the previous record of nine victories that he held jointly with Vettel.
The accomplishment, which was part of the Red Bull team’s own clean sweep, was saluted by many in the paddock.
However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff played down Verstappen’s feat, insisting the landmark achievement was worth nothing more than a mention in Wikipedia, which “nobody reads” noted the Austrian.
Wolff later admitted that his derisive comment was perhaps “not the most intelligent thing” he could have said.
Speaking in Suzuka on Thursday at the launch of his Buzzin’ Corner biodiversity project, Vettel weighed in on Verstappen’s exploit and run of success, admitting that a driver or team’s unwavering dominance in F1 has often produced negative reactions.
"I think people don't like watching the same driver win," said the four-time world champion.
"There's Max today. There was Lewis. There was myself. There was Mika [Hakkinen] at the time, and there was Michael [Schumacher] obviously, throughout a long time.
"So, I think it's part of the sport. But it's really you should be lucky that you're able to witness history in the making. And what Max pulled off this year is amazing.
"His car is amazing, but even more so it's his efforts. He didn't do a mistake, so you can't give him enough credit."
While Vettel’s presence at Suzuka was justified by the inception of his biodiversity initiative, the former F1 driver who retired at the end of last season admitted that he would have loved to be on the grid for Sunday’s round of racing.
Instead, he’ll be watching proceedings from the area inside Turn 2’s Buzzin’ Corner where each F1 team has installed a dedicated bee hotel.
It has been rumored that Vettel could take on an official environmental role with F1 at some point in the future.
"I speak to Stefano [Domenicali], but we will see,” said the German. “Obviously, I just want to create a buzz around the topic, because it's important to me.
"I feel it should be important to all of us, because it does concern all of us. We'll see what happens after."