Horner says Wolff 'totally wrong' to try to influence Verstappen

Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner says his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff was "totally wrong" to call Max Verstappen's father Jos following the Mexican Grand Prix

Horner says Wolff 'totally wrong' to try to influence Verstappen

Reports emerged in Brazil this weekend that Wolff contacted Max's father Jos, in an effort to encourage Max to curb the aggression of his racing when among the title-chasing Mercedes drivers, following his brush with championship leader Nico Rosberg on the opening lap in Mexico.

"It's totally wrong," Horner told Autosport. "They've got their own business. To be meddling in other teams'... maybe he does that with Ferrari, but he shouldn't do it.

"He's got no right to tell Max how he should drive and conduct himself.

"Max is doing a great job in Formula 1 and he's employed by us to do the best he can in the races.

"That's not to wave a Mercedes through or not race it.

"I think Toto showed a certain naivety or arrogance to be calling a competitor team's driver's father."

Verstappen was reluctant to comment extensively on what he described as "a private call" that had been "a bit blown up".

Asked if he was surprised that the Mercedes team boss would contact him in such a manner, Verstappen replied: "Maybe a little bit. I think Toto is a nice person. It was just [giving an opinon] from his side".

The Dutchman's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo said that regardless of the detail of what was discussed between Wolff and the Verstappens, it was inappropriate for a championship-chasing team to be trying to influence others' approaches.

"I understand it from a respect point of view, but you have to race," Ricciardo argued.

"What's different now to in Melbourne at the start of the year? We're all racing and trying to maximise our position.

"If we don't attack them or go for an opportunity, in a way we're fixing the championship by not doing that.

"The championship should be an accumulation of all those races and whatever happens, happens.

"If we're talking about a race win and going for it, I'm not going to do a kamikaze and take us both out, but if I feel it's a move I can make stick, I'm going to go for it.

"We're there to race, and for us to all cruise around and just let the Mercedes drivers fight it out doesn't make sense."

Horner added that he did not expect the conversation to have any impact on Verstappen's racing.

"He's his own man, his own person," he said.

"Since he's driven for our team, bar one incident in Monaco, he's not put a wheel wrong all year.

"I'd rather encourage him to keep doing what he's doing than to change his approach.

"That's probably why he's the most exciting driver in Formula 1 at the moment, and why there's so much interest in him."

shares
comments
Brazilian GP F1 qualifying press conference full transcript

Previous article

Brazilian GP F1 qualifying press conference full transcript

Next article

Jenson Button baffled by Saturday slump at Brazilian Grand Prix

Jenson Button baffled by Saturday slump at Brazilian Grand Prix
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Plus

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors Plus

The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors

The British Grand Prix is where the world championship began in 1950. STUART CODLING looks at six of Formula 1's era-defining cars which have all scored memorable victories in its original race

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021