Christian Horner and Toto Wolff say mutual respect for the job either of the F1 teams have done but note that how 2021 was, the intensity did get to them.
The feelings of both Red Bull’s Horner and Mercedes’ Wolff were same regarding how their rivalry panned out in the course of the 2021 F1 season. They agree that it got out of hands at certain times, but that is part and parcel of the intensity of a title fight.
The word respect seemed lost at certain moments, but both Horner and Wolff note that it is still there among them even if they are not best of friends and that they won’t spend time together outside F1. They didn’t show ‘love’ for the sake of it.
“I think when we are competing for two of the biggest trophies in sport and of course the competition is intense,” said Horner. “I think as characters we are obviously quite different but we share the same intensity, the same competitiveness. I will defend my team, I will defend my driver, both drivers, to the hilt. That’s what you do. That’s who you represent.
“That’s who you look to protect and yes, there has been competition on track, off track, and it has been pushing the boundaries. Toto has done the same from his side and yeah, it got heated and I think that’s sport. It would be for me very artificial to sit here or throughout the season and be all smiles with your biggest competitor.
“For me, I can’t do that, because that wouldn’t be being true or being honest. So, of course emotions boil over. We are in a competitive sport. That’s Formula 1. It shows the intensity of the competition, the intensity between the teams. It’s given media something to write about. I think it has just been honest more than anything and for me it would be totally fake for me to sit here and say how much we love each other and that we are going to go on holiday after all is over,” summed up Horner.
His counterpart concurred the sentiments, adding that both of them had different ways of handling things. “I don’t know if it would be so much fun,” said Wolff. “I would agree with Christian. I think there is mutual respect for the job that the other team has done. They wouldn’t be where they are, competing for the championships all along, but it is just too intense.
“I stand for the team and the interests of the team and that can be fierce at times because it’s not only the derivers battling on track. It’s a fight for an advantage in the regulations and obviously we have also certain bias that comes from different perspectives and different perceptions.
“I can understand that rationally but if things go against the team or against the two drivers I can get quite emotional in the moment and Christian has his own way of dealing with it. As he said, very different personalities. But it is just the fight for this trophy, one of the most important prizes in sport. It’s a world championship and that’s why you cannot expect a lot of schmoozing between drivers, team principals and all the teams,” summed up Wolff.
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