Toto Wolff and Christian Horner say the high stakes of F1 title is leading to the current intense fight and also headline statements as Andreas Seidl reckons it is going out of hands.
There is no longer a Mercedes vs Red Bull fight on the track. It has certainly gone off it where the drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are seemingly less in the news these days but their bosses Wolff and Horner feature more in the headlines.
A lot goes on the media too who constantly ask questions which both Wolff and Horner have to answer and they do it without filter whereas the drivers sometimes have the filtered answers ready in their minds considering the heavy fight.
Amid the discussions of all the incidents between the two teams along with the protests and everything, Wolff and Horner agreed to one thing, that the high stakes of the championship is key reason for this intense nature of statements.
Its been long that two teams have been so close to each other at this juncture of the season. Ferrari did look strong in 2018 and 2019 but with their engine situation, they dropped off, leaving 2016 to be the closest battles which was within Mercedes itself.
“Formula 1 is a competition,” said Horner when asked about if it is getting out of hands now. “It is the most competitive sport, arguably, in the world. It’s the most technical sport in the world. There is a huge amount at stake. The competitors are operating at an unbelievable level and you know on track, off track it’s been an extremely intense season, but I think we have absolutely…. This is what we have worked for.
“We have worked incredibly hard behind the scenes, it’s not just what you see at the circuit, that’s only 10% of who our team is. It’s what goes on behind the scenes in the factory, the late nights, the difficulties through all the remote working that we have had, the circumstances of the last 12 months. As a team we have fought incredibly hard to get into this position. Max having won nine grands prix this year and the team having won 10 grands prix, is a position that we have strived for during the difficult years and we have never given up.
“We’ve kept fighting, we’ve kept pushing, we’ve kept believing and Mercedes, make no bones about it, have set the bar incredibly high but it’s great that we are in this position, we’re enjoying being in this position and rest assured we will give it everything that we have between now and the end of the year. Toto and I are very different characters and you know we operate in different ways and I think that….
“Am I going to be spending Christmas with Toto? Probably not, unless you’re in panto this year, I might take the kids. I think that from my perspective it’s a tough competition and that’s Formula 1. I don’t think… you don’t have to be best mates with your opponents. How can you be? I think that would be dishonest in many respects, to fake a façade when you are competing against each other,” summed up Horner.
Much of the statement from Horner was agreed upon by Wolff – a rare instance this season. “I think, what is there to add. The fight happens on all levels – political, sporting, technical,” he said. “That’s clear. I think that whoever wins this championship at the end of the year, Driver and Constructors, merits the win, because it was on a very high level.
“I think the competition is just too high. You cannot expect that you are going to dinner with your rival or with a rival team or with your enemy in that sporting competition, irrespective of the personalities and the characters, nothing else. Everything else would be not normal and that’s as simple as it is. No negative emotion or positive emotion. The emotions are pretty neutral,” summed up Wolff.
While Wolff and Horner are having a constant go at each other, it is affecting others though, as McLaren F1 boss Seidl sees this as detriment to F1. While he agrees that there is a lot at stake, but he reckons both are going out of line which they shouldn’t cross.
“If you watch everything which is ongoing at the moment, it is clear, obviously, there’s a lot at stake,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “It’s different to the battles we are in further back, and is obviously great to a certain degree for the fans, and for the show, because in the end it should be entertainment as well.
“But I definitely think that some of the comments we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s definitely not something I could imagine would come from us in such a situation. I think it’s very important, and it doesn’t matter if you fight for wins, or if you are last, that you always keep respect for the competitors, for the FIA, for F1. We are in this together, and it is important that there is respect for the volunteers who help us, in the end, to put on these race weekends,” summed up Seidl.
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