Toto Wolff and Christian Horner engaged in a sweary exchange at last season’s Canadian Grand Prix, the argument laid bare on Netflix’s Drive to Survive.
It’s fair to say there’s no love lost between Wolff and Horner, their rivalry reaching epic proportions back in 2021 as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen raced wheel-to-wheel for the Drivers’ Championship title.
Recording 14 1-2 results in a back-and-forth season that included two huge crashes, the title was eventually decided in controversial circumstances with Verstappen coming out on top.
But rather than simmer down in 2022, a season in which Verstappen romped to a second World title while Mercedes with their porpoising W13 were never in the hunt, it looks to have exploded.
At least it did so at the Canadian Grand Prix when Wolff faced off against his rival team boss, including Horner, at a team principals meeting.
The meeting was held in the wake of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a race in which Lewis Hamilton had to be helped from his car with the Briton clutching his back such was the pain he was in because of porpoising.
That Sunday Wolff raised the volume in his call for the FIA to intervene with Horner all but calling his drivers’ pain a ploy.
The Briton, whose Red Bull team had almost no porpoising, told the media he’d also be telling his drivers to “bitch as much as they could over the radio and make as big an issue out of it as they possibly could” if he wanted the FIA’s help.
That set the mood going into the Montreal team boss meeting where Wolff accused those opposed to FIA intervention of “playing a dangerous game”.
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“I hear a lot of chit chat about porpoising. The Chinese whispers through the press, little emails being sent,” he said.
“I can tell you that all of you are playing a dangerous game. If a car ends in the wall because it’s too stiff or it’s bottoming out you are in the s*** and I am going to come after you.”
Horner responded by telling Wolff he was “playing to the cameras” with the Mercedes boss hitting back: “I don’t care. If you think this is a little game and performance, I tell you, you are very, very wrong.”
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto got involved: “No Toto, safety is a matter of team responsibility, braking system, suspension.”
The Austrian’s responded: “Each of you has found something to limit the problem, congratulations!”
At that point Horner seemed to lose his cool with the argument and yelled: “Well change your car. You’ve got a problem, change your ****ing car.”
To which Wolff said: “You change your car. Checo (Sergio Perez) has been saying the car is f***ed. Checo has been on the record, I have it printed out.”
Eventually F1 chief Stefano Domenicali stepped in to calm the argument.
Netflix’s Drive to Survive season 5 is being released on 24 February.