Christian Horner says Toto Wolff wasn’t driving the car, that he needs to apologise, as he credits Red Bull for red flag repair in F1 Hungarian GP.
Mercedes v Red Bull, Max v Lewis, Toto v Christian – it is all happening for the past two races in bigger sense. The British GP Lap 1 saw Hamilton and Verstappen clash, while the Hungarian GP Lap 1 saw Bottas clash with Sergio Perez and then the Dutchman via Lando Norris. While both races were painful for Horner to view, it isn’t really the fault of Wolff.
This was the response of Horner when asked if Wolff’s apology is enough. As per the Red Bull chief, it was not like that Wolff went on to say, ‘Valtteri, if you can, do a job on the Red Bulls when possible’. Eventually, Mercedes lost good chunk in the melee, as well.
Except for Red Bull, it came at the worse time amid Cost Cap situation. One wreck plus damage plus another wreck won’t be cheap for the team. The two shared a moment when speaking to Sky Sports, where Wolff went to Horner to apologise.
“It is racing, Toto wasn’t driving the car, so his driver was driving the car,” said Horner to TV media, when asked about Wolff’s apology. “I am sure, he didn’t tell him to crash into Red Bull, I am sure he wasn’t that I am sorry to see the result, I am sure he didn’t tell Valtteri to do that.
“But the consequence for us is brutal, in the cost cap environment, that needs looking at and it is being looked at by the FIA.” To go from heading both the championships at Silverstone to now trailing and it being no fault of their own does merit annoyance.
Verstappen suffered significant damage but if ever team-work was needed, it certainly kicked in for Red Bull under red flag conditions as their mechanics did a great job to get him back running at all, with the Dutchman getting couple of points after disqualification to Sebastian Vettel.
“It is frustrating, I mean, Valtteri made a bad start and misjudged his braking point for the first corner, sort of a karting error, kinda taking too much back and unfortunately the result for us, he eliminated both of our cars,” said Horner. “It is massively frustrating, the damage, the cost of the damage, it looks like an engine on Sergio’s car.
“With Max, with his ability, the mechanics did wonders with the car to keep it running, the temperatures were off the scale where they had to straighten pipes out. Thankfully, it was only one lap, so they managed to get it under control for the balance of the race. He’s run with half a car, the entire right hand side of the bargeboard was missing, he probably had less downforce than Mick Schumacher did.
“So that’s brutal for us, but I think the team did a great job to get the car back out there, they nailed the fastest stop and Max for that one (two) point and this could be vital at the end of the year,” summed up Horner.
In the Mercedes corner, Wolff while having good fortune in the last two Grands Prix respects the fact that they have been fortunate and Red Bull have suffered. He agrees that Bottas was at fault and has put his hand up in this instance with further communication to come on same.
“I completely understand and feel the emotions, all I can do is take it on us,” said Wolff. “It was a small mistake being too late on the brakes and it took out Lando and the two Red Bulls and it is not how things should go but in the rain, it could be quite tricky.
“Valtteri got sandwiched and the moment he closed they braked, a tiny bit too late and then it’s too late. As I said, it is a small mistake that led to such a big accident, costing them a lot of points and possible two cars on the podium. So, I’ll do it in public and I am sorry for that,” summed up Wolff.
While Mercedes have been fortunate on track, they have suffered elsewhere. Unsavoury remarks towards Hamilton after Silverstone in social media plus booing after qualifying and the race itself are not what F1 is about.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
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