‘Too much tension’ between Mercedes and Red Bull

Jon Wilde
Toto Wolff and Christian Horner

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner

FIA president Jean Todt thinks Mercedes and Red Bull have made their 2021 World Championship battle too intense.

Formula 1’s most exciting season for years is shaping up nicely, with Mercedes facing a serious threat to their domination of the sport which has brought them seven consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.

In throwing down the challenge, Red Bull have turned up the heat both on and off track, with team principals Toto Wolff and Christian Horner exchanging jibes and threatening to protest the wings the rival cars have been using.

Tost, who completes his maximum 12-year tenure as FIA president at the end of 2021, would prefer to see a battle ensue that involves “less controversy”.

“It’s interesting, there is more competition and also more controversy, this is how this works,” said the former Ferrari team principal during an interview with AS.

“If anything, I would prefer there was less controversy in this sport and I have tried to make it that way, to do everything possible so we are all together. It was achieved, in a way, when we faced COVID-19.

“There is too much tension, too much competition, controversy over wing flex, tyre problems, everything.”

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Todt accepts that with so much at stake, teams will inevitably push the boundaries of the rules to try and gain an edge – and says the FIA have beefed up their resources to ensure any potential breaches are kept in check.

“The interpretation of the rules implies being at the limit of what can and cannot be done,” added the 75-year-old.

“That is why I want us to have good governance, ethics, ‘compliance’.

“My job is not to judge you, but to make sure we have the best people. We have drastically strengthened the team.

“We have a sports technical committee because I do not like to be in the position that one person decides what to do. It would be bad for everyone. We must be strict with that.”

As for his own future, Todt hopes there are other achievements awaiting him when he leaves the FIA.

“Since 1981, when I was appointed to Peugeot, until today I have not missed a single day of my work. I’m lucky,” he said.

Until the end of December I will be fully committed to my position and that will be the moment to take stock. Also, I am preparing a book.

If I will continue to be linked to the FIA ​​afterwards? No, it would not be healthy. I do many other things that you may not know and take a long time. I have many interests in activities other than motor racing.”

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