Wolff warned Max Verstappen’s dad against his son playing decisive role in F1 title fight

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff warned Max Verstappen’s father, Jos, that it would be bad for his son to be remembered for playing a decisive role in this year’s fight for the drivers’ championship.

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are currently embroiled in a close battle for this year’s title with two races remaining in the season.

Verstappen, 19, has been one of F1’s breakout stars in 2016, becoming the youngest winner in the sport’s history in Spain and scoring a number of other podium finishes with Red Bull.

However, his on-track antics have piqued the attention of his peers, with Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean all previously voicing concern about his aggressive approach.

Wolff has become the latest figure to flag it up, believing Verstappen could play a part in deciding the title fight between his drivers.

Wolff got in contact with Jos Verstappen, himself an ex-F1 driver, to air his thoughts ahead of this weekend’s race at Interlagos in Brazil.

“My main message for Jos was that he should come to the races again because he seems to be the only guy that Max really listens to and respects,” Wolff told British newspaper The Times.

“And I also said to him that it would be bad for Max if he was remembered for deciding the world championship this year through a reckless move against one of our drivers.

“Everybody wants to see hard racing but, for the sake of Max and of our boys, an all-in move that could ultimately kill their championship aspirations is too much.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner confirmed the story to Sky Sports, expressing his surprise that Wolff deemed it necessary to go to such lengths.

“Jos told me when he got here on Thursday, and I was just a bit surprised that Toto was calling another driver’s father from another team,” Horner said.

“I think Jos was a bit surprised when he put the phone down to Toto that not only was he commenting on behalf of Mercedes, but Ferrari as well, that the way Max was conducting himself wasn’t winning him any favors and he should wind his neck in.

“I’ve not heard of a team principal calling up other driver’s fathers before, but obviously Toto felt the need to do so.”

Verstappen was non-plussed by the affair, though, brushing off Wolff’s thoughts when talking to NBCSN after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday.

“It’s all a bit exaggerated,” Verstappen said.

“We’re here to race for our own team. We’re not here to race for Mercedes.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.