Christian Horner has recently lightened the atmosphere by jesting that Toto Wolff’s phone number has been blocked on his device. However, behind the playful banter lies a professional acknowledgement of a “healthy” rivalry between the two esteemed individuals.
Horner intends for his actions to serve as a catalyst, igniting a renewed determination and competitive spirit within the Mercedes boss.
The spirited competition between Red Bull and Mercedes continues to captivate motorsport enthusiasts, ensuring a thrilling battle on and off the race track.
Over the past few years, both team principals have found themselves at odds as their respective teams fiercely compete on the race track.
The seeds of this intense rivalry were sown back in 2014 when Mercedes kickstarted their era of supremacy, marked by Lewis Hamilton clinching his first of six World Championships with the team.
Since then, this simmering rivalry has been building up, gradually escalating until it reached its boiling point in 2021.
The championship battle between Hamilton and Verstappen that year added fuel to the fire, intensifying the competition between Red Bull and Mercedes to unprecedented levels.
However, the intense action between Horner and Wolff extended beyond the boundaries of the race track.
When news broke that the Toto Wolff had intended to protest against Red Bull’s flexi wing at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Horner swiftly fired back, urging Wolff to “keep his mouth shut.”
Furthermore, tensions escalated during the British Grand Prix when Hamilton and Verstappen collided, resulting in a blame game between the two bosses.
Yet, the tables have turned, and Red Bull currently commands a dominating presence on the track. With Verstappen leading the charge, the team is poised to secure their third consecutive championship victory this season.
Despite the ongoing rivalry, questions about the relationship between Horner and Wolff persistently arise. In response, Horner amusingly asserts that Wolff is unable to contact him, humorously suggesting that his number has been blocked.
This playful remark adds a touch of light-heartedness to their competitive dynamic, highlighting the spirited nature of their interactions.
“I think he’s blocked [on my phone]. It’s fine. I mean, look, there’s healthy competition, and it’s good to have rivalry in sport,” said Horner on the Pardon My Take podcast.
Horner continued: “They did a lot of winning, they’re a great team, and now we’re doing our thing and we’re tending not to look behind and looking forward. It’s not really about Toto. It’s about Ferrari, about Aston Martin. And he’s no doubt got his challenges, so I’ll let him focus on those.
In the world of motorsport, there’s more to the game than just mutual admiration and agreement. Christian Horner understands the importance of healthy competition and the thrill it brings.
As he aptly puts it, “It’s boring if everybody just loves each other and whatever. You’ve got to have a rivalry and it’s got to fire people up.”
It’s safe to say that Horner doesn’t hold a prominent position on Wolff’s list of contacts either as Toto Wolff made it clear that he considers any discussion about the Red Bull team principal a waste of his valuable time.
The evident friction between the two adds an extra layer of intrigue to their ongoing rivalry, fueling the passion and intensity that drives their teams forward on the race track.
“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,” said the Mercedes Team Principal in an interview with The Times.