The racing competition between Mercedes and Red Bull during the 2021 Formula One title race has spilled over into off-track interactions, with Toto Wolff and Christian Horner appearing to have a tense relationship. This has been explained by Wolff.
Given the huge stakes involved in the fight for the championship, Toto Wolff says that his fierce rivalry with Christian Horner is “very genuine.”
While Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Max Verstappen of Red Bull have been vying for the title on the track, tensions have risen between their respective Team Principals Wolff and Horner off the track.
Although Formula One may give entertainment as well as sport – especially in light of the popularity of Netflix’s documentary series Drive to Survive – Wolff insists that his bitter relationship with Horner is entirely genuine.
“It’s absolutely genuine, because there’s so much at stake,” Wolff said.
“It’s ambitious people, ambitious teams that are fighting really tooth-to-nail for this championship. And once you’re in that, there’s just no ability in your mind to even create a space for another person, at least for me.
“I have no negative nor positive emotions, but I’m trying to really stay in that place. Sometimes I was carried away when I heard comments that annoyed me, but only twice this season.
“The rest is no emotion, neither positive nor negative.”
“Very different personalities”
Considering the conditions, Wolff does not believe it is possible to have a normal relationship with Horner, and he also believes they are quite different characters who approach their roles differently.
“It is impossible to just have a relationship,” the Silver Arrows’ boss explained. “Because there’s so much at stake.
“Everybody’s just trying to defend the interests of the team. We are very different personalities, also, [in] the way we probably perceive the world.
“I try to just stay authentic to what I believe is right, and he does it his way. Maybe in the future, we can have a laugh about it, but not today.”
The title race will be decided in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Verstappen and Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings on equal points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes had a 28-point lead over Red Bull.
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