Toto Wolff has weighed in after Fernando Alonso suggested Max Verstappen’s titles were worth more than Lewis Hamilton’s. The Mercedes team boss believes Alonso “enjoys that sort of thing” but stressed the comment had not affected Hamilton.
Alonso claimed Hamilton’s success was less important as he only had to beat his team-mate. In comparison, he said Verstappen has never had to fight with Sergio Perez in the same way Hamilton battled with Valterri Bottas and Nico Rosberg.
He even compared the Dutchman’s success to his own at Renault in 2005 and 2006? when he was up against Michael Schumacher. Responding to the comments, Wolff explained: “He’s a funny guy.
“He makes headlines, and this sport is built on headlines. They are both great world champions.
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Alonso told De Telegraaf: “I also have a lot of respect for Lewis. However, it is different when you win seven world titles when you have only had to fight with your teammate.
“Then, I think a championship has less value than when you have fewer titles, but against other drivers you have had to contend with equivalent or even better equipment. In 2005 and 2006, I had a good start to the year myself and was able to create a lead. Then others might have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap.
“I never had to fight with my teammate to win those titles. Nor did I see Max fighting with [Sergio] Perez or [Alex] Albon to win races. But Schumacher in particular fought with his teammate to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton fought with [Nico] Rosberg and [Valtteri] Bottas. That’s different, I think.”
However, 41-year-old Alonso appeared to backtrack on his statements on Sunday, claiming every driver’s success was “amazing” and “inspiring”.