Toto Wolff counters Christian Horner’s ‘220’ staff exit claim from Mercedes to Red Bull

Michelle Foster
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner

Christian Horner needs to “work on the math” with Toto Wolff countering the Red Bull team boss’ claim he’s taken “220” people from Mercedes’ engine department over to Red Bull.

Horner and McLaren’s Zak Brown recently had a bit of back-and-forth in the media about personnel changes with the American declaring Adrian Newey’s departure would be just the “first domino to fall” at Red Bull.

Toto Wolff: You got to work on the maths…

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Going on to claim he’s seen an influx of CVs from Red Bull personnel, Wolff has also asked about that. He replied: “Zak is absolutely correct, we are seeing Red Bull CVs through all the level.”

Horner did not appreciate their comments and fired back: “Mercedes, we’ve taken 220 people, 220, out of HPP into Red Bull Powertrains so when we talk about losing people I would be more worried about the 220 than one or two CVs.”

However, it seems his 220 is considerably wide of the mark.

More on Toto Wolff and Christian Horner’s most recent exchange

👉Christian Horner issues Toto Wolff reminder: ‘We took 220’ staff members away from Mercedes

👉Christian Horner and Toto Wolff: A history of Formula 1’s odd couple

Wolff was asked about that number in Imola, telling the media including “You got to work on the maths. 19 engineers.

“Whatever those numbers are, I think there’s natural fluctuations between teams that come and go, which is completely normal.

“I think we have an engine department that is as good as it can be with top leadership.

“There is not a millimetre in HPP that I wish would be different in terms of organisational set-up, in terms of the people that work there that I am lucky to interact with. It’s just a perfect organisation.

“You can see they’re just delivering and they have delivered for a long time. Since 2014, we have been pretty much the benchmark, or with maybe another engine, the benchmark. So that hasn’t changed.

“I really can’t wait for 2026 to come and see the different levels of performance of the power units.”

Wolff’s comment of natural fluctuations comes as Mercedes said goodbye to chief aerodynamicist Gioacchino Vino while Loïc Serra and Jerome d’Ambrosio have left to join Ferrari.

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