Toto Wolff has fired the latest barb in the continuing rivalry between the Mercedes and Red Bull Racing team principals. The Austrian says that he would prefer to work alone rather than have to work with any member of the Red Bull team – Max Verstappen, Christian Horner or Helmut Marko.
The rivalry between Wolff and Horner intensified in 2021 as their two teams battled for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles. The on-track rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen spilled off it, and it became rather personal between the two team principals as the season progressed.
Horner made it clear as the 2021 season reached its conclusion that there was no relationship between him and Wolff. The Englishman stated that he does not need to “kiss Wolff’s a***”, while the Austrian labeled Horner “a windbag who wants to be on camera”.
The latest jibe towards the Red Bull team came during a Q&A with German publication Bild when Wolff was asked who from the Austrian team he could envision himself working with. The question was, “Who would you rather have from Red Bull in your team: Verstappen as driver, team boss Christian Horner or head of motorsport Dr. Helmut Marko?”
“Then I’d rather do it alone,” was Wolff’s curt response with a slight smile.
It is a clear indication of the relationship between the two teams. The recent fourth season of the Drive to Survive series on Netflix focused mainly on the increasing rivalry between Wolff and Horner, with both team principals showing their disdain for each other.
During the Q&A, Wolff also addressed winter speculations about Hamilton pondering retirement after the Abu Dhabi controversy. The Mercedes boss confirmed that at no point did the seven-time world champion consider walking away from Formula 1.
“We always stayed in touch over the winter. You have to give Lewis his space, but it was always clear that he wanted to continue doing what he enjoys the most. And that’s driving.”