Never one to miss an opportunity to have a dig at Toto Wolff, Christian Horner says that’s because his Mercedes counterpart makes it so “incredibly easy”.
Horner and Wolff have spent the past three seasons engaging in their own personal war-of-words, a feud that was ignited back in 2021 as Max Verstappen took on Lewis Hamilton in the race for the World title.
From questioning the legality of each other’s cars, to pantomime jibes and heavier accusations of putting drivers’ lives at risk during the porpoising saga, the two just cannot stop throwing shade.
Christian Horner: It’s part of the sport
This season they are again at it with the 2026 engine regulations their point of contention with Horner arguing that the 50/50 split between engine and battery power will mean drivers cannot race flat-out while Wolff says his complaints are nothing more than self-interest.
It’s the latest war-of-words between the two, one that’s likely to rumble on for some time still to come.
Horner has no problem with that as he admits he enjoys his verbal spats with the Austrian.
“It’s part of sport,” he told talkSPORT, “it’s part of competition and he’s incredibly easy to pull his chain. So that’s part of rivalry, that’s part of sport isn’t it?
“There has to be a competitive rivalry. It’s not a garden party.
“We’re there to compete, we’re there to win and every member of the team knows that and the team that want to beat us the most are the ones that are just up the road.”
And don’t for a minute think Horner v Wolff is an act for the cameras as the Red Bull team boss says there is no friendship between the two.
“I’ve never been a believer in that because he’s trying hard to beat us and we’re trying to ensure that we stay ahead of him and so I don’t see, whilst there has to be a respect, I don’t see some form of false friendship. For me it’s unrealistic,” he added.
“I’m not so sure Toto is the type of person that goes to the pub.”
But Wolff isn’t the only Mercedes personnel who Horner has respect for with the Briton applauding Lewis Hamilton’s success in Formula 1.
“Huge respect for Lewis. What he’s achieved, he’s the most successful driver of all time,” he said. “His records speak for themselves. They’re huge.
“At the same point he’s a rival but there can still be a respect for everything that he’s achieved.
“And also outside of the cockpit as well, the way he’s highlighted issues on equality and race and so on. I think he’s done a tremendous job as an ambassador for Formula 1.”