Wolff ‘regrets’ his personal war with Horner

Michelle Foster
Toto Wolff imploring Christian Horner. Spain August 2020

Mercedes motorsport Toto Wolff imploring his Red Bull counterpart, Christian Horner, while a cameraman stands in the background. Spain August 2020

In the midst of a season in which barbs were traded, Toto Wolff said he “really regrets” his war of words with Christian Horner.

Last year Mercedes went up against Red Bull for the championship titles in what proved to be a heated battle both on and off the track.

While Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen traded race wins and P2s, finishing 14 races of the 22 grands prix 1-2, and also occasionally paint, their team bosses went at it off the track.

Mercedes questioned the legality of Red Bull’s front wing, Red Bull questioned Mercedes’ rear one, both team bosses made snide remarks about the other and Wolff even accused Red Bull of making it personal against Hamilton following the drivers’ British Grand Prix collision.

And while the bosses shook hands on the eve of the title decider in Abu Dhabi, there was no sign of that courtesy after the race when Mercedes were incensed with the manner in which Verstappen was able to beat Hamilton to the World title.

It is unlikely that the tension between the two teams will be any calmer this season as Hamilton tries to wrestle back the World title and Verstappen sets out to defend.

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner shake hands at a press conference before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina December 2021.

Wolff, though, says he does “regret” the way in which his relationship with Horner broke down last season.

“I really regret it,” he told Dutch magazine Formule 1 in a recently released interview but one that was conducted at the Dutch GP.

“I always try to stay professional, approach things professionally. However, it got very personal between the two of us at some point.

“At one point he told me to shut up. Then I responded by saying he was a windbag and talked too much for the cameras.

“I shouldn’t have said that because it’s a professional relationship and you know that even your worst enemy has a best friend.

“You have to respect that person, even if you fight a hard duel.”

The Mercedes motorsport boss revealed it was his wife Susie who called him up on his war of words with his Red Bull counterpart.

 

“She asked ‘Why are you having these kinds of discussions? You’re trying to win, respect that,” added Wolff.

“Even if someone goes in that direction, you don’t have to.”

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Wolff regrets war of words with Horner

Toto Wolff says he regrets his and Christian Horner's back-and-forth getting out of hand at times in 2021.