Toto Wolff rejects Christian Horner suggestions as Mercedes and Red Bull at ‘war’

F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar

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Toto Wolff has said that his relationship with Christian Horner is only competitive on the track, rejecting the claims made by his Red Bull counterpart. Relations between Mercedes and Red Bull have been particularly frosty this season after a number of incidents between the two teams.

Red Bull and Mercedes have shown themselves to be a cut above the rest of the F1 teams in 2021, competing furiously for both the Constructors’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship.

In the wake of the now infamous crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Silverstone the two men were furious about their opponents handling of events. That situation was only worsened by Valtteri Bottas forcing both Red Bull cars off the track at the Hungarian Grand Prix on the very first lap.

Speaking to GPFans Global, Wolff talked about the competitive nature of the rapport between the two.

He said: “The competition on the track is always on. Straight from the beginning of the year, it has been a tough fight. 

“You can see whatever happens it’s going to be very, very close between the two drivers and between the two teams, so there is always a war on track.”

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When pressed about whether that competitiveness went beyond race days, Wolff was very clear: “For me, it’s just on track.”

There has been a lot of back and forth between Horner, Wolff, Hamilton and Verstappen during the season and the mid-season break from races. 

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku relations reached boiling point after a scuffle over flexing wings, with Wolff referring to Horner on that occasion as a “windbag”.

Wolff said he regretted that insult and that he wanted to avoid such distractions in the second half of the season.

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The Austrian said: “I got annoyed in Baku, and that is not something that’s normally happening to me.

“On reflection, I want to concentrate my focus on the team and on myself, rather than be distracted by noise.

“Baku wasn’t ‘back away’, I just got triggered. In the end, I am not interested anyway in chatter.

“Whatever is said or written, it is just distracting. It has the potential to distract you, and I don’t want to be distracted. I just want to look, I just want to look inside.”

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The results at Silverstone and the Hungaroring mean that Hamilton overturned what was a 32-point deficit to his Dutch rival to now lead the standings by eight points.

Both Mercedes and Red Bull have decisions to make over the make-up of their teams next season. Mercedes have reportedly been considering replacing Valtteri Bottas, who has been at the team since 2017, with young Englishman George Russell.

Meanwhile Red Bull are likely to retain Sergio Perez as Verstappen’s partner but have mentioned that there are other options.

F1 returns on August 27 for the Belgian Grand Prix weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

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