When F1 team principals started ‘fighting’ at a dinner party

Team principals have a tendency to wind each other up at the racetrack, and the rivalry once found its way to a dinner party.

Competition between team principals in Formula 1 is not uncommon, and they are often seen squabbling with one another in the paddock, but perhaps slightly less anticipated is a renewal of hostilities away from the racetrack.

But this is exactly what happened when Mercedes boss Toto Wolff invited over for a social evening in Oxford, and the immense pressure team bosses are under during race weekends spilled out over the dinner table.

“I had it once around the Grand Prix and hosted a dinner,” he told the Beyond the Grid podcast back in 2020.

“I think it was Friday or Saturday night, and then they all started fighting with each other so it was pretty unpleasant.”

Unsurprisingly, he decided not to indulge in festivities with the chiefs all together in one room again after this unsavoury incident.

“So I didn’t invite any afterwards anymore. Or when I did only one or two of them,” he added.

He revealed that the arguments mainly consisted of people “slagging each other off like children in a kindergarten.”

The main rivalry between team bosses now exists in the incrementally personal clash involving Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner, and the Austrian said during season four of Drive to Survive that Red Bull have a tendency to “throw their toys out the pram” amid a highly controversial battle between the teams as Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battled for supremacy.

The 50-year-old was also amusingly heard asking “what’s his thing with my ass?” after Horner had said in a press conference that he is not displaced to “kiss his ass.”

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Despite the entertaining spectacle conjured up by the docuseries, Wolff is not particularly keen on the dramatization surrounding him.

“I’m watching this – episode one, episode two – and I hate it,” he told the Irish Independent.

“I never wanted to have the camera in my face. We gradually grew into this. Suddenly you realise that it has become so big everywhere in the world with new audiences, younger audiences.”

In the latest jibe between the pair, Horner has recently labelled the Austrian as a “tax exile” and noted that he is easy to “wind up.” He did however insist that his counterpart is “not a bad guy.”