Christian Horner: ‘I don’t tell Toto to change his f**king car’ every week

Michelle Foster
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

Telling Toto Wolff to “change your f**king car” during a fiery exchange at a team boss meeting last season, Christian Horner says that’s not how those meetings usually play out.

Last season Wolff and Horner clashed over porpoising with Mercedes’ W13 bouncing from one track to another while Red Bull’s RB18 had minimal porpoising, and was wracking up the wins.

Wolff wanted the FIA to intervene but Horner felt it was up to the individual teams to resolve their own issues with their argument coming to a head at a team principal meeting in Canada.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff clashed over porpoising

Caught on camera by Netflix and revealed to the world in Drive to Survive, the two didn’t hold back.

Wolff: “I can tell you that all of you are playing a dangerous game. If a car ends the wall because it is too stiff or it is bottoming out, you are in the s**t and I’m gonna come after you.”

Horner: “Are we playing to the cameras here? I think this is probably better off camera.”

Wolff: “I don’t care. If you think this is a little game on performance, I’ll tell you, you are very, very wrong.”

Horner: “Change your car. You’ve got a problem, change your f**king car.”

That, however, is not how those team boss meetings usually play out insists Horner.

“I don’t tell him to sort his fucking car out at every meeting,” the Red Bull team boss told the ESPN Unlapped podcast.

“I mean they get a bit sporty at times, but you know, there needs to be healthy debate in Formula One. And I think by and large that they are usually pretty constructive.”

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All too often in recent years Horner and Wolff have been the clash of the heavyweights with the team bosses going on it as their drivers have battled on the track for race wins and World titles.

Two of the longest-serving team bosses, Horner believes he and Wolff are a dying breed with today’s newbies, Andrea Stella and James Vowles, coming into the job from a technical background.

“When I look around the room now, there’s very different personalities,” he said.

“When I first came into the sport, there was Ron Dennis, there was Flavio Briatore, there was Eddie Jordan, there was Jean Todt.

“There was Bernie Ecclestone running it, there was Max Mosley there, Frank Williams – some really big characters and personalities.

“Of course now you look around the room, maybe it’s just me getting older, but there’s more managers there and it’s gotten much more technical than the entrepreneurial side.

“So I suppose Toto and myself are perhaps two of the more ‘dinosaur’ type of characters compared to some.

“Even though I’m still on the younger side of the team principals, but the dynamic and the definition of what a Team Principal is these days is very different to when I first came into this post.”

“I think that many of them are now morphing from technical backgrounds, where they’re very focused on technical and perhaps towards the regulations, rather than actually thinking about the business and the bigger picture.”

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