Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that he has no problem with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Red Bull and Mercedes have been locked in an all-out battle for the Championship this year – and the two team bosses have fired jibes at one another throughout the season.
Speaking this week, Horner said that while he and Wolff are “very different people” he nevertheless still has a “lot of respect” for what the Austrian has achieved in Formula 1.
“I have no issue with Toto but we are very different people,” Horner said.
“I tend to be quite straight and quite direct, that’s the way I’ve always operated. He operates in a different way but I have a lot of respect for what he’s done.”
Continuing, the Red Bull team principal said this year’s Championship fight has been different to their battles with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013, with Mercedes continuously trying to influence the FIA to make the Milton Keynes-based team less competitive.
“It’s a competition and compared to the Championship years when we were competing with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013 this has been very different,” Horner added.
“There is an awful lot more going on behind the scenes, constant campaigning of the FIA with all aspects of our car.”
Tensions between Wolff and Horner came to a head earlier in the season after Mercedes raised concerns about the legality of Red Bull’s “flexible” rear wing.
Horner said they have been under attack from Mercedes since the start of the year and said they have no choice but to defend themselves.
“You have to defend yourself if you come under attack as we have from the very beginning of the year – whether it was the concept of the aerodynamics with the FIA to pit stops to other aspects of the chassis, you name it,” he added.
Going into this weekend’s US Grand Prix, Mercedes have a 36-point advantage over Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship, while Max Verstappen leads Sir Lewis Hamilton by six points in the Drivers’ Standings.