Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff appears to have taken an early shot at rival Christian Horner ahead of the upcoming 2023 season, with the Austrian having admitted that thinking about the Red Bull team principal is a “waste of time in my life”.
The Brackley-based team are attempting to reclaim their Constructors’ Championship trophy from Red Bull in the upcoming season, with the Milton Keynes-based side having ended the Germans eight-year domination.
Wolff’s side claimed the Constructors’ crown every season from 2014-2021, with Red Bull having finally ended their rivals streak last season.
In doing so, Red Bull claimed their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013, with Mercedes having effectively ended the Austrians four-year reign when the turbo-hybrid era was introduced in 2014.
Mercedes and Red Bull were rarely seen battling each other last season, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell having had a car that wasn’t capable of challenging Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez.
This meant little interaction was seen between Wolff and Horner, who clashed ferociously during 2021, when Hamilton and Verstappen were battling for the World Championship.
With Wolff having already fired a shot at Horner before the season has even begun, it perhaps suggests that the Germans are extremely confident of returning to the front this season.
Should Mercedes falter like they did last season, then the Austrian’s comments might come back to bite; however, it is more likely a sign that the mind games have already begun.
“I am living in his head rent free. The guy is obsessed,” Wolff told The Times.
“Every second that I spend on talking about Horner is a waste of time in my life.”
Whilst Wolff seemingly loves winding his Red Bull counterpart up, racing isn’t the most important thing in the 51-year-old’s life.
Wolff does “love” Mercedes, but his true love is with his family and his wife, Susie Wolff, whom he married in 2011.
“I have great moments in F1. I love the team, I love the challenge. But what I really love is my family,” he added.
“I have three children, who are 21, 18, and five years old.
“Having the family together is what gives me the greatest enjoyment. And with my wife [Susie] I have found the perfect partner.
“My wife can drive cars faster than I. But that is the least of her attributes. We are total soulmates.”