Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Mercedes’ Toto Wolff have reignited their war of words ahead of the 2022 season. Auto Motor und Sport reported that Horner called the sidepods on the Mercedes “illegal” and that it violated the spirit of the regulations. However, Red Bull denied this and issued a short statement saying “Please note, Christian has not spoken with any media or made any comments about the Mercedes car.” Wolff was left furious nonetheless, saying: “How does he know half an hour after he saw the car for the first time that our car is supposed to be illegal?”
Horner was eventually tracked down by Sky Sports F1 where he said he been “surprised” by the story.
Horner and Wolff have a history when it comes to off-track disputes.
Horner has become a staple of Formula 1 having worked in his role as Red Bull Team Principal for 17 years.
Meanwhile, Wolff and his Mercedes team have dominated since 2014, winning every Constructors’ title in that time.
Last season saw the team bosses clash weekly, and former racing driver and pundit Johnny Herbert lost his patience as a result.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror in November, he said: “I think many want to tell him ‘grow up’. They look like two 8-year-olds arguing in the schoolyard. One points to the other and says, ‘Look what he’s doing.’
“However, the technicians are not distracted by all this and are working to find that advantage that would be crucial for their respective drivers.”
Horner also reflected on his rivalry with Wolff in an interview with the Guardian in October.
He spoke about his respect for Wolff and also admitted that he enjoys winding up his opponent.
The Red Bull chief said: “The more Toto gets wound up, the more fun it becomes.
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Horner also suggested that Wolff is under more pressure than he is.
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.
“But of course he’s never experienced anything other than winning. So it’s a different type of pressure now. It’s tough.”