Vettel: It’s a mistake to dismiss Verstappen’s genius in F1 2023

Sebastian Vettel thinks it is completely wrong to dismiss Max Verstappen’s record-breaking achievements in Formula 1 this year, as he says people should feel “lucky” to have witnessed them.

Verstappen broke Vettel’s record for most consecutive wins in F1 history at the Italian Grand Prix, as the Red Bull driver claimed his 10th consecutive victory.

This success caused some controversy as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff later downplayed the significance of the achievement, saying it had absolutely nothing to do with him.

“I don’t know if [Verstappen] cares about records. They’re not what’s important to me, those numbers,” he told Sky. “It’s for Wikipedia and no one reads it anyway.”

Wolff later explained that his choice of words was probably not the smartest choice as he was the target of some criticism.

Speaking at Thursday’s Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel said Verstappen cannot be praised enough for all he has achieved and the way he drives so brilliantly.

“I think people don’t want to see the same driver win,” Vettel said at the launch of the ‘Buzzin’ Corner’ biodiversity project.

“Today there is Max, there is Lewis. There’s me. There was Mika [Hakkinen] at that time, and obviously there was Michael [Schumacher], for a long time.

“So I think that’s part of the sport. But you really have to be lucky to see history in the making. And what Max has achieved this year is incredible . “His car was amazing, but his effort was even more so. He made no mistakes so you can’t praise him enough.”

Vettel’s launch of his biodiversity project attracted the support of all 20 drivers on Thursday, with the edges of Turn 2 also painted yellow and black this weekend in support.

The German driver admits there will be a weekend he will miss racing in an F1 car, but he can keep a close eye on the action from his bug hotel.

Vettel has previously been linked with some type of environmental role in F1, but he says nothing is off the table yet.

“I’m talking to Stefano [Domenicali], but we’ll see. Obviously, I just want to create a buzz around this topic because it’s important to me.

“I think it’s important for all of us, because it affects all of us. We’ll see what happens next.”

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