Toto Wolff’s incredulous Christian Horner assessment after Lewis Hamilton message

Thomas Maher
Toto Wolff Abu Dhabi interview.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has not held back in his response to Christian Horner's message with Lewis Hamilton.

Toto Wolff has opened up on Christian Horner’s assertion of an approach from Lewis Hamilton to enquire about a seat at Red Bull.

Speaking to select media, including, Toto Wolff has said Christian Horner’s recent comments and media statements result in ‘character questioning’.

In the build-up to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Horner spoke about the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as alleging an approach had been made from Lewis Hamilton’s camp to enquire about a seat at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen.

Toto Wolff explains Lewis Hamilton Red Bull approach

Horner had told the UK’s Daily Mail that ‘several conversations over the years’ had been had with Hamilton’s camp about a Red Bull switch, with the team boss saying “They have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.”

Hamilton denied the story when he spoke to the media in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, saying he believed Horner was “just stirring things” and said he had no knowledge of an approach from his camp to Red Bull.

“I know it’s come from Christian, so I don’t really understand what he’s been talking about because, as far as I’m aware, no-one from my team has spoken to him,” Hamilton said before claiming Horner had instead reached out to him earlier this season “about meeting up.”

Toto Wolff, who sat down with select media – including – on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, was incredulous about the situation.

“I just don’t know what drives the guy,” he said.

“We don’t understand his thinking to come up with these things.

“What happened is that Christian, through an agency that we work with, wanted to have his contact details to speak about the seat.

“That’s how the whole thing went, [it] was Christian inquiring into his availability.

“Lewis had an exchange with Christian – which he immediately told me about, which was not about a seat, but it was just… blah.

“I’ve seen it. So I don’t know what drives him to come out with this. You’ve won the season. Be happy about it, [be] humble. Enjoy it.

“Don’t make comments about Abu Dhabi 2021, which are completely off the mark,” Wolff sighed. “…and character question.

“I just wonder what’s going on up there.” recommends

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Toto Wolff: I believe in enemy building

Wolff was referring to comments Horner made last week when he appeared on Sky’s A League of Their Own, in which he had spoken about the race in which Max Verstappen won his first title after a controversial call made by then-FIA race director Michael Masi benefitted the Dutch driver’s strategic gamble.

“I mean Mercedes f***ed up,” Horner had said.

“They left poor Lewis out there on tyres that had done pretty much most of the race and we pitted with Max so he was on a fresh set of tyres.

“Max made the move and the interesting thing was where Max passed him it caught Lewis completely by surprise.”

Asked by whether he gets any enjoyment out of the feuding rivalry he and Horner have had over recent years, as the respective leaders of the sport’s most recently dominant teams.

“Not rivalry,” he said.

“I believe in enemy building and in looking at people that motivate you, annoy you, that you want to beat.

“I encourage everybody in the company to find out who that is, in the other teams. Spend some time on LinkedIn. See who it is.

“I have two windows that are permanently open on my laptop.”

Asked by who those people might be, Wolff smiled and revealed Horner is not one of them.

“It’s no one from Formula 1,” he said.

“I can’t tell you. [Someone from the] finance world and tech world.”

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