Horner sure Wolff isn’t planning F1 exit

Christian Horner has brushed off whispers suggesting his F1 rival Toto Wolff might depart from Formula 1.

Wolff, the key figure at Mercedes, missed the recent Japanese GP – said to be because of knee surgery – and was substituted by new deputy Jerome d’Ambrosio and communications chief Bradley Lord.

Concurrently, some in the paddock, including Sky correspondent Craig Slater, saw the 51-year-old Austrian Wolff – holding a third of the team’s ownership – maintain a considerably subdued role at a few grands prix before Suzuka.

Responding to questions about potentially missing his famous feud with Wolff, Red Bull’s head Horner remarked: “For me, sport is about rivalry. There has to be a respect, but sport isn’t sport without rivalry.

“Obviously we haven’t seen much of him (Wolff) the last couple of years but I’m sure he’s plotting. I’m sure he’s got something that they’re working on.

“They’re a great team,” Horner added. “They are a big team. They have got great drivers. They’ll be looking to fight back and it hurts when you’re losing.

“If it doesn’t hurt, you shouldn’t be doing it.”