Maximum tension between Mercedes and Red Bull in the preview of the Qatar Grand Prix: “Diplomacy is over”

The press conference of Chris Horner (right) and Toto Wolff (left) in the preview of the Qatar Grand Prix (Dan Istitene /)

The friction that exists between Red bull and Mercedes in the final stretch of the season of the Formula 1 does not seem to have rest. The press conference of team leaders that took place in the run-up to the Qatar Grand Prix had as protagonists Chris horner next to Toto wolff and the controversial statements towards his counterpart from the opposing team were not lacking. With three races remaining, temperature and voltage peak.

Horner was the first to attack by reiterating his suspicions that Mercedes may have gained extra straight-line performance through the use of a deceptive rear wing. The German suggested that during the recent weekend, during the Sao Paulo GP, Mercedes had an unusually large speed advantage on the straights. These clean and jerks were essential for Lewis hamilton he recovers from his starting grid penalties to finally win the race.

He also suggested that Red Bull is more concerned with the last two races of the season in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, where low resistance and straight-line performance are more important. “Would you protest? Yes absolutely. If we believe that the car does not comply with the regulations, we will protest. The straight speeds we saw in Mexico and Brazil. I mean, I think everyone could see that Brazil was not a normal situation ”, shot Chris sitting a few meters from Toto.

One fastball was enough for Hamilton to position himself ahead of Verstappen in Brazil (Photo: REUTERS)
One straight was enough for Hamilton to position himself in front of Verstappen in Brazil (Photo: REUTERS) (AMANDA PEROBELLI /)

Wolff, with the calm that characterizes him, was in charge of avoiding the accusations arguing that the decision of the FIA ​​was exactly what they expected. “It was completely expected. We wanted to start a discussion about it because it will probably be a recurring theme in the next races. We really didn’t think it would go any further, ”he explained to Mercedes in defense. And he added in this regard: “Diplomacy is over.”

The rigor that exists between the two team leaders extends beyond the last battles in the stewards’ room and already reaches a much deeper rivalry that stretches back several years. When asked where the discomfort was coming from, Wolff explained: “I think the competition is too high. You can’t expect to go to dinner with your rival or a rival team or your enemy in that sports competition, regardless of the personalities and characters. Everything else would not be normal. It is as simple as it is. Without negative emotion, without positive emotion, emotions are quite neutral ”.

To the same question, Horner put it from a different perspective. Look, Toto and I are very different characters. We operate in different ways and, I think, am I going to spend Christmas with Toto? Probably not. But I think from my perspective, it’s tough competition, that’s Formula One. You don’t have to be the best friend of your opponents, how can you be? I think it would be dishonest in many respects to fake a facade when they are competing with each other. So that’s what I’d say, “argued the Red Bull.

press conference of Chris Horner and Toto Wolff in the preview of the Qatar Grand Prix
Both Wolff and Horner differentiated friendship from respect (Photo: Getty Images) (Dan Istitene /)

“I think relationship and respect are two different things,” added Chris. “Of course there is respect for everything Mercedes has done and there is respect for everything Lewis Hamilton has done, but I don’t need to go to dinner with Toto or kiss his ass or anything like that. But from my perspective it is a competition. I think it is great that we are in this position and fight for the world championships, and it is the first time in seven years that they have been challenged, so that intensifies it, “he concluded on the subject controversially.

The Losail International Circuit is ready to receive a new chapter of the rivalry starring Lewis Hamilton and Max verstappen. The Dutchman leads the ranking by 332.5 points and is chased by the British with 318.5 units added to a great hope of snatching the leadership in the final stretch of races.


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