Christian Horner takes fresh swipe at Toto Wolff over his racing career

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff and Christian Horner looking glum in the pre-season press conference. Bahrain F1 February 2023

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner looking glum in the pre-season press conference. Bahrain February 2023

Christian Horner had a little jab at Toto Wolff’s driving career, suggesting that while he raced, Wolff “took part.”

Despite both being at the top of their game in the F1 world, neither boss really excelled as a driver with Horner’s experience in F2 being the peak of either’s career.

Horner also raced in Formula 3000 but in 1996, he did race in F2 having previously competed in F3 where he won five races.

However, he realised his driving career may have hit a ceiling after he joined Juan Pablo Montoya for a pre-season test and said he was “not capable of replicating the level of commitment” of the Colombian following the first high-speed corner.

He has certainly moved onto bigger and better things but as to whether he wishes he was racing in F1, Horner’s answer is clear.

“Absolutely not,” he told the Financial Times. “I got as high as Formula 2 but I recognised that the skill of the driving as cars get more and more powerful… you realise the risk that’s involved and having the ability to disconnect your head and heart from each other is sometimes quite difficult.

“I recognised that my talent that I had was relatively modest and I wasn’t prepared to take the risks. There was a self-preservation that was built in and thought ‘this is just stupid’ when there’s a barrier there and you can actually really hurt yourself.

“So I knew at that point that it was time to stop but when I see the level that these guys are at now, it’s insane.

“[With] Max [Verstappen] even during the race on Sunday, he’s watching the TV as he’s as he’s driving around, he’s commenting on what’s going on in the race and then he starts having an argument with his race engineer about ‘have you have you checked the front wing for the medium tyre at the next stop?’ recommends

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“And his engineer went back to Max [saying] ‘you drive the car and let me do the engineering’ so the capacity that they have to operate whilst running at these incredible speeds is quite phenomenal.”

Whilst Horner’s driving career was, by his own words, “modest”, that did not stop him from poking fun at his old nemesis Wolff, going as far as suggesting while Horner competed, Wolff “took part.”

“Well obviously, I raced and Toto took part,” he said with a smile. “Of course it gives you an insight into the emotions that a driver goes through and some of the challenges.

“It’s quite a lonely place sitting in that cockpit and you want to feel that the team believes in you, that they’ve got your back and that inspires confidence.

“I think for me that was a key thing that I took out of my driving time and having driven for good teams and not so good teams, it was all about the people in the end.”