Wolff calls Horner ‘a protagonist in a pantomime’

Mark Scott
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull's Christian Horner face off. Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner face off. Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has batted away Christian Horner’s latest comments about him feeling the pressure in a tight title fight with Red Bull.

At various times throughout the 2021 season, it feels like the only thing missing between Wolff and Horner is boxing gloves to settle their differences once and for all.

The two team bosses have regularly traded digs and insults between each other via the press, playing their roles in what has been a highly entertaining and memorable rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull on both World Championship title fronts.

And, with five races of the season remaining, the duo have not stopped taking shots at each other.

“What Christian says about me feeling pressure, no, not at all,” Wolff told the Daily Mail.

“I feel he is one of the protagonists in a pantomime, part of the Formula 1 cast, and for me as a stakeholder, as a team owner, it’s great that he creates these kinds of stories.

“But it’s irrelevant. People have a microphone in front of them or a camera on them and they start to behave like little actors, like Hollywood.”

“It’s very good, they fill the blanks and make it pantomime. That’s good for the sport and good for Netflix because they want to portray the people, not just the stopwatch.”

But, it is not just the arrival of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ series that has seen an added element of drama and soap opera return, with Wolff being reminded of the days when Bernie Ecclestone used to run the show.

He continued: “People have realised they are being quoted if they say controversial things. It gives them media time, it gets their picture in the newspapers.

“In many ways we are going back to our roots because what Bernie Ecclestone created back in the day was racing and soap.

“And when there was not enough racing he made soap, he was always good for a headline. So we’re back there.

“But I don’t get drawn into it. I find it amusing, but it doesn’t touch me.”

In the same interview, Wolff has not ruled out the driver rivalry between Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen turning into the iconic Prost v Senna feud with drivers intentionally crashing into each other to prevent the other from winning title.

Just 12 points separate World Championship leader Verstappen and second-placed Hamilton as Formula 1 heads to Mexico for round 18.


PlanetF1 Verdict


Wolff reignites war of words with Horner

Toto Wolff has reignited his war of words with Christian Horner, calling Horner a "protagonist in a pantomime".