Stefano Domenicali says the relationship between Red Bull and Mercedes “must be recovered” after the acrimony between them at times in 2021.
Team principals Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have been engaged in a season-long war of words that has spanned protests against each other’s cars, barbs sent in each other’s directions and heated interviews during the fight between them for both championships.
Wolff insisted previously the respect for each other would return after the season had ended, but both team bosses have acknowledged they are different people with different management styles, so that respect is unlikely to become a full-blown friendship any time soon.
Speaking as he received the Lorenzo Bandini Award in Italy, Formula 1’s CEO spoke about how he hopes to see the civility between the two front-running teams restored moving forward.
“Those who live with certainties mean they sleep well,” Domenicali quipped when asked about how the two teams will interact with each other in 2022.
“But we have many doubts and we have to face them. We have issues that will eventually have to be managed.
The relationship between the two team bosses has been just one of the intriguing sub-plots in Formula 1 in 2021 with some juvenile slanging matches between them, but Damon Hill disagrees and feels their rivalry is “a front they have put on”.
The drama of the 2021 season, however, came to a head in a controversial finale in Abu Dhabi that saw Max Verstappen take his first World Championship, while Lewis Hamilton has stayed silent by not giving interviews or posting on social media since that day.
Wolff said that silence has come as he “simply lacks words” about the events a fortnight ago, but he has appeared in public to receive a knighthood and visit the Mercedes factory at their end-of-year celebration.