Christian Horner and Toto Wolff moment spotted before viral paddock photo

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff and Christian Horner shake hands.

Underneath the rivalry, there is a respect between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner.

Damon Hill spotted a touching moment between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff moments before they took a picture that went viral.

The two bosses were at each other’s throats in a different way in Abu Dhabi with the pair seen hugging and smiling inside the paddock.

It ultimately showed a friendship between two of the sport’s biggest protagonists and Hill spotted something shortly before that picture was taken.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff moment spotted in Abu Dhabi

Hill was recording the F1 Nation podcast when he spotted some familiar faces congregating outside the Red Bull hospitality section.

“That is a lovely moment,” Hill said. “There is Jos [Verstappen] and Christian and Toto and Geri [Horner] and they’re all outside Red Bull and they’re having a good old laugh about things.

“Underneath it all, and all the stuff we hear on the rivalry and the needle is the respect. That is so heartening to see that because otherwise it is whipped up into this kind of bitterness just for the sake of the story.

“Underlying it all, these people are fighters and sportsmen.”

Speaking a few weeks ago, Horner praised Wolff and said that for him, the sport is about the rivalry.

“For me sport is about rivalry. It’s great to have rivalry,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“There has to be a respect, but sport isn’t sport without rivalry.

“Obviously we haven’t seen much of him [Wolff] the last couple of years but I’m sure he’s plotting. I’m sure he’s got something that they’re working on.

“They’re a great team. They are a big team. They have got great drivers. They’ll be looking to fight back.”

With Franz Tost retiring, Wolff moves up to second in the list of longest serving current team principals behind only Horner himself.

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The Austrian now though faces the greatest challenge of his career, toppling the dominant Red Bull.

To do that, he has promised a radically different car for 2024.

“We are changing the concept,” Wolff said.

“We are completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow. I mean, literally, there’s almost every component that’s being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance.

“We could get it wrong also. So, between not gaining what we expect, catching up and making a big step and competing in the front, everything is possible.

“I have never in my life felt optimistic about anything. It may sound a bit miserable, but it’s protected me about managing my expectations and just pushing harder. Because I think it’s never good enough.

“That’s why I sit here with a bittersweet feeling. We won P2 but we lost P1.”

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