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Horner on row with Wolff: 'I thought that was incredibly one-sided'

Horner on row with Wolff: 'I thought that was incredibly one-sided'

21-09-2022 19:53 Last update: 21:15

Christian Horner has revealed that a "heated discussion" took place between him and Toto Wolff after Max Verstappen was sent into the wall at full speed by Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

Netflix missed out on a bit of drama in the 2021 Formula 1 season, which was heated enough anyway with the feud taking place between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes. At the Beyond the Grid-podcast, Horner says something snapped because of the behaviour Wolff displayed during the race.

In the radio communication between Wolff and the FIA, which was broadcast live, the Mercedes team boss could be heard pointing out then race director Michael Masi had sent him an e-mail. Through diagrams, he unsuccessfully tried to exonerate Hamilton from causing the incident, but instead got himself a furious Horner.

Horner had heated discussion with Wolff

The Red Bull team boss, who was unaware of the direct line of communication between his rival and Masi until the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, was unmoved by Wolff's lobbying behaviour. "It was in Barcelona that suddenly I hear they broadcast Toto on the phone to Michael. And I thought that’s a bit strange because I had never had a one-to-one channel, it had always been centred through our team manager," Horner explained.

He was therefore not taken aback by the behaviour displayed by his rival during the race at Silverstone and says a "heated exchange" ensued, in which he accused Wolff of lobbying the race director. "It really permeated at Silverstone, where suddenly there was an awful lot of dialogue from Toto to Michael and then he’s sending him an email," continued Horner, who then went to the race director because he found it "incredibly one-sided."

"In hindsight, Toto and I had a fairly heated exchange in race control at that event. Toto was obviously arguing his corner, that his driver shouldn’t be penalised. And I’d got a driver in hospital and a car that had been taken out of the race," the 48-year-old Briton recounted.

After that moment, contact intensified between team bosses and race management, culminating in Abu Dhabi. Horner calls that a logical development as both team bosses want to get the highest possible result for their team in the heat of the race, but at the same time he thinks it is good that that direct line of communication has now been restricted.