Mercedes rush to clarify Wolff’s comments about tensions with Horner

Tensions grew between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner in 2021 as Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battled for the F1 crown.

A surprise revelation has emerged surrounding Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff’s comments on his relationship with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

It had recently been reported that Wolff feels “regret” over his antagonistic relationship with Horner over the course of 2021, with the two persistently throwing jibes at one another as the battle between Formula 1’s leading two teams for constructors’ glory grew incrementally personal while Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton went head-to-head for the Drivers’ Championship.

The Austrian referred to the “flexi-wing” debate in the early part of the season to highlight the growing animosity between himself and his British counterpart, and said he wishes that he had handled it differently.

READ: ‘That’s called female social intelligence!’ Wolff praises wife for urging him not to continue war of words with Horner

“I really regret it. I always try to stay professional and approach things professionally. It got very personal between the two of us at some point, that’s right,” he told Formule 1 Magazine.

“He told me to ‘keep my mouth shut’ [during the flexi-wing situation] and then I responded by saying he was a windbag and talked too much for the cameras. I shouldn’t have said that.

“It’s a professional relationship and you know that even your worst enemy has a best friend, so you have to respect that person, even if you fight a hard duel in a professional environment.”

He then went on to applaud his wife and Venturi Formula E boss Susie Wolff, who desisted him from making any further inflammatory remarks.

“Susie pointed that out to me very clearly,” he said.

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READ: Hamilton distanced himself from Wolff to ensure he doesn’t jeopardise ‘Hollywood future’

“She said, ‘Why are you having these kinds of discussions? You’re trying to win, respect that. Even if someone goes in that direction, you don’t have to’. That’s called female social intelligence!” quipped the 50-year-old.

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner war of words.v1

However, Mercedes have been quick to clarify that the comments from Wolff were not made after the completion of the 2021 season, but rather during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend in early September.

Mercedes are set to line up with Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the team for the 2022 season, which gets underway on 20 March in Bahrain.

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