After Mercedes failed to score points for the first time since 2018 in last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Wolff blasted his team’s recent displays in Monaco and Baku as “unacceptable” as it lost ground to rivals Red Bull in the title race.

Wolff and Horner’s own rivalry heated up across the Baku weekend as their war of words escalated over F1’s flexi-wings saga, with Wolff calling Horner “a windbag who wants to be on camera”.

“A lot has been made about Toto's comments this weekend,” Horner responded when asked if he was surprised by Wolff’s comments about Mercedes’ performance.

“He’s never afraid to roast his team so publicly, which I disagree with. But that’s his prerogative.”

Max Verstappen had been on course to take a dominant victory around the streets of Baku and looked likely to extend his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 15 points before he suffered a sudden tyre failure that sent him crashing out of the race with five laps to go.

But Hamilton failed to capitalise on Verstappen’s misfortune as an uncharacteristic error at the restart dropped him out of the points and enabled Sergio Perez to seal his first victory for Red Bull.

“It looked like we were going to do a bit more damage than we ended up doing but we have just got to grab our opportunities when they present themselves,” Horner added.

“It was a real rollercoaster, I feel like I’ve aged so many years! We had the race under control with a 1-2 and then to suddenly lose Max and his ability to extend the championship lead by what would have been 11 points with the fastest lap, that was immensely frustrating.

“But at least Hamilton didn’t capitalise on that and reclaim the 18 points or so that he could have done.”

Asked if he feels luck will play a role in this year’s title race, Horner replied: “It’s swings and roundabouts isn’t it?”

“Max could have come out of the weekend putting 10 or 11 points onto his championship lead if it had finished where it was with five laps to go, so he could have been 15 up.

“He’s still four up. But at one point it was looking like he could be 21 down if Lewis would have nicked the victory.

“It’s swings and roundabouts and I think it’s going to do this, while the car’s performance is so close, it’s going to do that throughout this championship. And that makes it so exciting to be a part of and motivates everybody in the team to a whole new energy level.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...