Horner on Abu Dhabi: ‘Wolf wanted to steer the race track’ – F1 Team – Formula 1

Rarely in F1 history has a season been more tense than last year between them mercedes e Red Bull In the World Championship duel that pitted him against Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The battle between the two teams has extended to every area of ​​the sport, both on and off the track, by legitimate and lesser means. There were accidents between drivers, psychological games, pressure to change regulations in their favour, and an increasingly toxic atmosphere that led to the now infamous recent Grand Prix of the Abu Dhabi season, which was marked by thousands of controversies.

It is no coincidence that even now the heroes of those tense moments are called to talk about those days. The last to do so was Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, who was interviewed in a long conversation on the official Formula One podcast, Beyond the net. Horner, among the many topics touched upon, also focused on the discussed possibility – which was rejected earlier this season – for the team managers. Connect with the direction of the race. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff’s discussions with race director Michael Massey have been constant throughout the past championship.

surely Continuing pressure from both sides It didn’t help calm morale and he made it to the top in the Yas Marina race. On that occasion, Wolff repeatedly requested that the safety car not be placed on the track, while Horner called At least one race lap. When the safety car rolled into the track after Nicholas Latifi crash, a few laps from the closing Grand Prix. The English manager explained how the idea of ​​allowing the public to listen to those communications was born, and above all, he pointed the accusing finger at his counterpart at Mercedes, accused of having produced a car unhealthy habit who felt compelled to adapt to it.

We’ve been pushed to make communication between teams and Race Direction audible in the hope that this will go down.” Horner said, acknowledging that this decision was counterproductive. In Barcelona they broadcast Toto’s conversation with Mickey (The way Wolf called Michael Massey) And I found it very strange. I didn’t have a direct channel with him Horner said again – Communication was always passed through our team manager. Then the situation at Silverstone exploded. Toto called Michael and then emailed him. So I said to myself ‘Well, I don’t do that. But from now on I will. It seemed to me completely unbalanced. The team manager should not have the right to have this influence. Stopping this drift this year is right“.

Finally, regarding the events in Abu Dhabi, the Red Bull chief reiterated that he moved with a goal Protect your team’s interests. “Toto repeatedly requested that the safety car not be sent to the track during the race – he finished – He was trying to steer the course of the competition. As soon as I heard these communications, I had an instinct to defend my team. I wanted to represent a peer“.

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