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Verstappen's Austria win shows F1 is 'alive' - Wolff

Verstappen's Austria win shows F1 is 'alive' - Wolff

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Verstappen's Austria win shows F1 is 'alive' - Wolff

Verstappen's Austria win shows F1 is 'alive' - Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Max Verstappen's victory at the Austrian Grand Prix shows Formula 1 is alive and well after increasing grumbles at the Silver Arrows' dominance.

Verstappen secured home-race success for Red Bull for the second year in succession, becoming the first non-Mercedes driver to win in 2019 in the process.

Indeed, the Silver Arrows' winning run stretched to 10 races in total, meaning they fell one short of the all-time record set by McLaren with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna at the wheel in 1988.

Such domination had led to frustrations among F1's fanbase, but Verstappen's victory – secured after a thrilling battle with Charles Leclerc – has lifted the gloom and Wolff says it shows calls for drastic change in F1 are premature.

"I think the harshest people should think about this race the next time they start complaining again," Wolff is quoted by Motorsport.com.

"We should not discredit our own sport when we have a race like the one in Austria. This sport is alive, spectacular, there is a large audience, there is controversy and there are great races."

Verstappen's triumph also secured Honda's first race win since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, completing a journey since returning to F1 in 2015 that has been extremely rocky at times.

"Fantastic, I am very happy for Honda," Wolff added.

"After so many difficult years, they deserve such a victory. That he [technical director Toyoharu Tanabe] is standing with tears in his eyes ... It's great that Honda is winning again, I look forward to the battles of the future."

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