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Horner relishing Wolff's frustration

NEWS STORY
30/09/2021

Though Toto Wolff had much to be happy about on Sunday, what with Lewis Hamilton retaking the championship lead on his way to scoring his 100th Grand Prix win, there was also much to be frustrated about.

While Valtteri Bottas failed spectacularly in his mission - if we are to assume his tactical engine change was meant to thwart Max Verstappen's race - a superb call by the Dutchman and his team when the rains came saw the Red Bull driver snatch a surprise second... on a day even the team's numerous simulations anticipated that the best he could hope for was fifth.

With Sochi, like Monza, widely regarded as a 'Mercedes circuit', the German team hadn't dominated as expected.

As Wolff did his best to hide his frustration, warning that an "aggressive" approach would be required in the championship battle from here on in, Christian Horner couldn't hide his glee.

"It is, of course, the first time that Mercedes, and the first time ever that Toto Wolff have been in the situation where they are being challenged," Horner told Channel 4.

"He's been in a situation where he came into the team, the drivers were already signed, the engine was already in place," he added.

"He's done a great job to keep the team winning," he admitted, "but he didn't really have any competition. This is the first time it's a true scrap, it's a true competition."

The barbs that Horner previously reserved for Renault are now carefully aimed at Wolff, though the Austrian rarely misses a chance to take a swipe at his rival.

"There's a respect between the teams, but we operate in different ways," said Horner. "I very much want to be on the front line, sitting on the pit wall with the strategists and the engineers, while Toto is in the garage next to the press guy.

"It's different functions, different roles, different outlooks," he added, "but the competition is fierce. That's the key thing about this championship. We're loving the competition and the more Toto gets wound up, the more fun it becomes.

"The next twelve weeks will determine whether we win a championship or not," he continued. "We have cup finals, basically, to ensure that we deliver at our very best.

"Mercedes are beatable," he insisted, "but it's only if we are at our best that we can succeed.

"We have already proved that we can do it, we've proved to ourselves we can do it, because we got ourselves into that position."

A far cry from the embarrassment of the Formula Unas.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stitch431, 04/10/2021 8:01

"And right he is! Wolff should pint his attention to his team's driving instead of whining to the FIA and the press."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 30/09/2021 11:06

"Hahaha seems like all good in the sniping department. What Horner actually exposed was the truth vis a vis Wolff and the Mercedes team. Ruffling feathers is an art form all on it's own...and Red Bull are masters of that. "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Beans, 30/09/2021 6:02

"Great comments from Horner , they have completely triggered the Merc fans here and I am sure they are likely to trigger Toto as well. The pitwall comment was priceless and as everybody knows ..... Ross Brawn built that team ;-)"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Rock Doc, 29/09/2021 22:28

"Ha ha, the rivalry of these 2 makes it way to the comments as expected. Love it.

Both of Horner and Toto have very different styles that it kind of makes it difficult to like either of them. But they are both at team leaders for a reason and have been for a number of years in F1 so that alone means they both deserve respect from us. Let them have their little banter back and forth it does no harm.

One thing that is true here is that the Mercs although they have the faster car cannot translate that to the wins when they need to. The pack has closed up to them and they no longer have the luxury of racing from the front. In the pack they are almost helpless despite the extra speed they have.

This is what we have all been waiting for to see both the teams and drivers challenged each week. The head games and banter is just part of the on track/off track battles.

Whoever wins this year will know that they really met the challenge and over came the odds to take the trophy. It will be all the sweeter for it.

Let the games continue."

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5. Posted by Redphyve, 29/09/2021 13:33

""All this talk of 'respect' is pathetic and so wokie."

Respect is not pathetic and nor is it woke. I'm sure the respect you give to your friends and family is not pathetic? Or is it. I'm sure the respect you have earned is not pathetic but hard-earned and valued.

Also. For Horner to say Toto walked into a team setup to win 7 world titles, consecutively at that, is a level of stupidity totally in keeping with his constant whining and complaining.



"

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6. Posted by Superbird70, 29/09/2021 12:25

"For the racing incidents to have occurred at all the respect had to have been lost prior to, and not after."

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7. Posted by kenji, 29/09/2021 11:43

"@ Redphyve...I must admit to enjoying the ongoing contretemps between RB and Merc. Despite the two of them flinging around some 'merde' aimed at the fan it livens things up a bit...not before time either. One of my observations is the overuse of the in favour word OTM, respect. All this talk of 'respect' is pathetic and so wokie. This is a cojones out battle for supremacy on the track and it's all go and so long as you keep it clean but hard why show any 'respect' to anyone who will run you off the track at the first opportunity? This applies to both teams. "

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8. Posted by Redphyve, 29/09/2021 11:32

" There is a level of disrespect and smug arrogance unique to this insufferable puppet that the rest of us can only look at and be thankful we are not him.

I hope that Mercedes win the title so that Toto can look back these comments and laugh.

Go away Christian, your sell-by-date has expired."

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