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HomeSportToto Wolff once addressed Christian Horner’s attempts at winding him up: 'It's...

Toto Wolff once addressed Christian Horner’s attempts at winding him up: 'It's worrying'


Toto Wolff has admitted there is “no magic fix” for his Mercedes team as they start the season off the pace set by Ferrari and Red Bull. Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, the Austrian said his team has disappointed so far. He told reporters: “At the moment, our track performance is not meeting our own expectations, but everyone at Brackley and Brixworth is focused on understanding the problems and finding the right solutions. “There won’t be a magic fix for the next race weekend, but we’re pushing to steadily bring gains over the upcoming races, to hopefully move us closer to the front of the pack.

“Until then, we need to maximise each opportunity and make the most of the package we have.”

F1 fans have become accustomed to Mercedes dominating the field in recent years, as well as competing fiercely with rivals at Red Bull.

This rivalry arguably peaked last season when Wolff and Red Bull’s boss Christian Horner regularly engaged in a war of words.

In October last year, Horner admitted he enjoyed the fact Wolff was getting “wound up”

He told Channel 4: “And there is a respect I think between the two of us, but I think we operate in very different ways.

“I very much want to be on the front line. I sit on the pit wall with the strategists and the engineers, Toto will sit in the garage next to the press guy.

“So they are different functions, they are different roles, they are different outlooks.

“But of course the competition is fierce, I think that’s the key thing about this Championship.

“We are loving the competition and the more Toto gets wound up, the more fun it becomes.”

In response, Wolff said he found it “worrying” that the Red Bull man felt this way.

Asked if he was wound up, Wolff said: “No, not at all. That he thinks about these things is a bit worrying.”

Horner echoed his comments in an interview with the Guardian later that month.

He said: “The more Toto gets wound up, the more fun it becomes.

“I have no issue with Toto but we are very different people.

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“I tend to be quite straight and quite direct, that’s the way I’ve always operated.

“He operates in a different way but I have a lot of respect for what he’s done.”

“It’s a competition, and compared to the championship years when we were competing with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013 this has been very different.

“There is an awful lot more going on behind the scenes, constant campaigning of the FIA with all aspects of our car.”

Horner also suggested that Wolff is under more pressure than himself.

He also appeared to take a slight dig at the Austrian, crediting Ross Brawn for much of Mercedes’ success in recent years.

Horner added: “He [Wolff] came into the sport with Mercedes in 2013 and the structure was already in place.

“Ross Brawn had built that team. Lewis had already been signed. Toto’s done a tremendous job operating the team and maintaining their performance.

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“But of course he’s never experienced anything other than winning. So it’s a different type of pressure now. It’s tough.”

Horner’s outspoken nature has been evident once again in recent days.

The Red Bull boss last week claimed that Daniel Ricciardo showcased “spectacularly bad timing” when he declined a “stratospheric offer” to remain with his team in 2018.

Ricciardo has responded this week, telling the Herald Sun: “Obviously I would love to win a title with McLaren and then kind of say, ‘I told you so,’ or whatever.

“But I appreciate until that happens then there will probably be that narrative [of bad timing] with a lot of people.

“That’s okay, it doesn’t bother me. I also knew that it was going to come with the territory of leaving a big team, and obviously at the time I felt like that was the right thing for me.

“You kind of stand by that and it really did feel like the right thing. It’s not something I look back on and regret or think I should have done differently.

“But I guess as well now, Red Bull are back on top or fighting again for the world titles; I knew that would come around as well.

“There are also a lot of things internally in the team, so it’s not just ‘the car is fast, you should have stayed.’”



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