Toto Wolff denies ‘hating’ Max Verstappen in rare Red Bull admission

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Toto Wolff has admitted he doesn’t “hate” Max Verstappen as he praised the youngster for his two world title successes. Wolff made the revelation after opening up on a strange incident involving a potential nanny for his son Jack.

A lady who applied for the role believed she would be excluded from securing the position simply because she was Dutch. It comes after Verstappen and Hamilton were embroiled in a tense battle for the 2021 crown which ended in controversial fashion.

Wolff told De Telegraaf: “I asked why, and she thought I hated Max Verstappen. But I really like Max.” Instead, Wolf continued to praise the Red Bull star in a rare moment of appreciation for his skills.

The Austrian also added he “liked” people with Verstappen’s skillset and desire for greatness. Wolff added: “Max, in combination with his car, is the benchmark. He has matured so much and doesn’t make mistakes anymore.

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“And he’s only 25 years old, right? You wouldn’t think someone of that age is so mature, also on his outlook on life. It’s really impressive. Whether it’s Max, Lewis, Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna, they’re all different but they all have a raw edge.

“I like those kinds of people, difficult people. That often means they have more ambition and more dedication. This not only applies to drivers, but also to the top people within a team.”

The rivalry in 2021 was so intense it was almost all-consuming as the two teams battled for every inch of track. The duel reached its height at Silverstone after Hamilton and Verstappen collided at Copse corner.

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The 51G collision sent Verstappen to hospital while Hamilton went on to celebrate victory. After the race, it was revealed Wolff hadn’t called to check on Verstappen’s condition which angered the Red Bull star’s father Jos.

Jos explained: “There have been conversations with Toto Wolff and I also thought we had a good relationship with him, but the real Toto has shown himself lately. There is no relationship anymore.”

However, last year a paddock source suggested Wolff still holds regular talks with Verstappen. It comes after the Mercedes boss, speaking in early 2020, hinted he could be tempted to sign the Dutchman in the future.

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