Feud between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff escalates

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has insisted that Max Verstappen has never had a competitive team-mate.

Since Lewis Hamilton’s and Max Verstappen’s titanic 2021 title battle, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner have had their own feud, which has continued despite the Silver Arrows’ struggles.

2021 effectively saw two battles, Hamilton against Verstappen and Wolff against Horner.

Whilst Mercedes claimed the Constructors’ Championship that year, it was arguably Horner who came out on top, given the mood in the Brackley-based team’s camp.

Horner has gone on to reign supreme over Wolff throughout last season and most definitely this season.

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Mercedes and Wolff have had no answer to Red Bull’s and Verstappen’s dominance, yet this hasn’t stopped Horner from infuriating his Mercedes counterpart.

Last year, Horner comically bid £4,000 for a tour or Mercedes’ factory, something he hilariously won.

It was a clear attempt at playing mind games with Wolff, given that there was a clause in the auction which stated that rival teams couldn’t bid.

Horner did so anyway and joked about who he’d take with him to Brackley.

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“Adrian [Newey, chief technical officer], myself, Pierre Wache [technical director] and probably Paul Field, our director of production,” Horner joked last year, as reported by The Express.

Wolff has always jumped to the defence of Mercedes and has taken a few shots at Red Bull and Verstappen’s superiority along the way, most notably after the Italian Grand Prix.

Following Verstappen’s record-breaking 10th consecutive win, Wolff stated that the feat was just “for Wikipedia” and that “nobody” cares.

If that wasn’t enough, he’s insisted that Verstappen hasn’t had a team-mate competing with him, something be believes stopped Hamilton from claiming a similar number of consecutive victories when the Silver Arrows were on top.

READ: Toto Wolff: ‘We’ll be right behind Red Bull next week’

Wolff has maintained the idea that Verstappen has never had a competitive enough team-mate, whereas Mercedes have had “two drivers fighting against each other”.

“Our situation was maybe a little bit different,” Wolff told Sky Sports.

“We had two guys fighting against each other within the team. I don’t know whether [Verstappen] cares about the record.

“It’s not something that would be important for me. Those numbers are for Wikipedia and nobody reads that anyway.”