Toto Wolff kicks off 2023 F1 rivalry with playful swipe at Red Bull boss Christian Horner

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Toto Wolff says talking about Red Bull chief Christian Horner is a waste of his time but believes Horner is “obsessed” with him; In 2022 Sky Sports interview, Horner said ‘it’s very easy to pull his chain’ when discussing Wolff

By Amar Mehta

Last Updated: 21/01/23 1:23pm

Toto Wolff believes he is living in Christian Horner’s head “rent free” and thinks speaking about the Red Bull chief is a “waste of time”.

The Mercedes chief and Horner have publicly sparred several times, with Horner making digs at Wolff during an award ceremony in December, joking that his rival was the Rookie of the Year at the Autosport Awards.

When asked about what he thinks of their rivalry during an interview with The Times, Wolff said: “I am living in his head rent-free. The guy is obsessed.

“Every second that I spend on talking about Horner is a waste of time in my life.”

The rivalry between the pair came to a head during the 2021 season when Mercedes and Red Bull were battling it out for the championship.

There was certainly no love lost between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull boss Christian Horner during the 2021 title tussle

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There was certainly no love lost between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull boss Christian Horner during the 2021 title tussle

There was certainly no love lost between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull boss Christian Horner during the 2021 title tussle

The season ended in controversial fashion, when Michael Masi made a contentious safety car decision which allowed Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton to the title.

Wolff opened up about the frustrations after the Abu Dhabi race and said the decision taken by Masi during the race breached the “principle of fairness”.

“At the end of the race, an individual (Masi, who has since been replaced) took decisions that were not reflected anywhere in the rule book and were so drastic that they made the outcome unbelievable.

“That is a moment when you fall out of love with the sport…the principle of fairness was breached.

Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season.

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Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season.

Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season.

“The FIA took the guy out of the job because it was a human error. But it’s done and dusted now. I still think about it a lot, but not with anger; it is just incomprehensible how it came about.”

During the 2022 season, Wolff and Horner had disputes over bouncing cars, illegal flexible floors and the cost cap row.

In August 2022, Martin Brundle spent time with Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

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In August 2022, Martin Brundle spent time with Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

In August 2022, Martin Brundle spent time with Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

Horner: It’s easy to pull Wolff’s chain!

During an exclusive interview with Sky Sports in August 2022, Horner was asked about his rivalry with Wolff and said “it’s very easy to pull his chain”.

“Toto is Toto. He’s done a phenomenal job with Mercedes. He’s obviously come into the sport from a very different background to me, he’s very much from a financial background,” he said.

“And it’s very easy to pull his chain, and you can see it. Sometimes it affects him. So of course when you’re competing, and last year was so intense and of course it was the first time he’d ever been in that situation, it’s always interesting to see how people react.

Natalie Pinkham, Simon Lazenby, Karun Chandhok and David Croft select their favourite races, overtakes and most improved drivers and teams from Formula 1 2022.

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Natalie Pinkham, Simon Lazenby, Karun Chandhok and David Croft select their favourite races, overtakes and most improved drivers and teams from Formula 1 2022.

Natalie Pinkham, Simon Lazenby, Karun Chandhok and David Croft select their favourite races, overtakes and most improved drivers and teams from Formula 1 2022.

“And when they’re smashing headphones and so on, you can see that you got to them.”

Asked if he thought he was a better team boss than Wolff, Horner added: “That’s not for me to judge…

“I’m focused on what I’m doing, you guys are judge and jury. Sometimes we get judged by Sky but that’s not for me… I’m focused on what I’m doing and he’s focused on what he’s doing.”

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