Christian Horner wants 'control' and 'power' amid F1 row ahead of Miami Grand Prix

Christian Horner wants 'control' and 'power' amid F1 row ahead of Miami Grand Prix

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Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 25/04/2024

- 09:41

The next race is due to take place on May 5

Christian Horner recently snapped back at Toto Wolff amid the uncertainty surrounding Max Verstappen's Red Bull future.

And Sky F1 commentator David Croft believes the 'animosity' between the two men stems from Horner wanting the same 'control' and 'power' as his Mercedes rival.

Wolff has been mischievously talking up the possibility of Verstappen joining Mercedes, with the Silver Arrows still hunting a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

The Austrian is Mercedes' team principal, while also also owns a third of the F1 side as well.

Christian Horner Red Bull

Christian Horner and Red Bull are currently preparing for the Miami Grand Prix


And Croft thinks Horner's feud with Wolff is down to the 50-year-old wanting more 'control' and 'power' than he currently does over at Red Bull.

“I think Christian and Toto will carry on the war of words for the entirety of their time in Formula 1,” said Croft.

“It will just carry on.

"They’ve got a history, they’ve got a present and I think they’ve got a future when it comes to not agreeing with certain things.

“Toto is doing everything that you would expect one of your rivals to do and if your driver is making it public that he might leave, he’s going to put his arm around him, he’s going to tell him that he’s the most important person on the planet and ‘come over to us, the grass is much greener at Brackley than it is at Milton Keynes’.

“The one thing that I think is always going to wind Christian up a little bit as well is that for all the success at Red Bull, for all the titles, the trophies, the race wins that they’re enjoying at the moment, Toto Wolff is a co-owner of a Formula 1 team and Christian Horner isn’t.

“And I don’t think that goes down very well with Christian.

"I think if you said to him, ‘Would you like to be a co-owner of that Red Bull team?’ Of course he would.

"He wants control. He wants power and Toto’s got that because he is a one-third owner of Mercedes.

“And Christian Horner, he might be a CEO and he might be a team principal, but he’s a paid employee of the Red Bull Formula 1 team, so he hasn’t got that autonomy to make decisions in the way that Toto has and I think a lot of the animosity on Christian’s side maybe stems from that.

"But I think Toto also knows how to wind Christian up as well.”

Wolff had stirred the pot after the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday by discussing Verstappen's future.

“Are we [able] to convince him? I don't think it's a matter of convincing, Max knows motor racing better than anyone," he said.

"He will take decisions that he feels are good for him.

"And I think a few factors play a role but he's the one that is going to trigger some more domino stones to fall after but everybody is waiting for what he's going to do.”


Christian Horner Toto Wolff

Christian Horner has a strained relationshio with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff


Yet those comments angered Horner, the Briton retorting by saying: “If you speak to Max - and it’s not about pieces of paper, we know he has a contract until the end of 2028, it's about how he feels in the team and the relationship he has in the team and the way he’s performing.

“I don’t think Toto’s problem is with his drivers, he’s got other elements that he needs to be focussing on rather than focussing on drivers that are unavailable.”

He added: “I don’t know how many more times he [Verstappen] needs to say it, he’s said it numerous times.

“I’m not going to get drawn into…I think sometimes it’s just designed to create noise.

"We moved ahead today of the races Mercedes has won in the modern era [117 in total for Red Bull, 116 for Mercedes excluding its nine 1950s wins].

Christian Horner Max Verstappen

Christian Horner is adamant Max Verstappen will stay at Red Bull despite Toto Wolff stirring the pot


"Of the teams in form, why on earth would you want to leave this team?

“Mercedes are the third team behind their customers [McLaren and Aston Martin] at the moment, so I think his [Wolff's] time would be better spent perhaps focussing on the team, rather than the driver market.”

Both Horner and Wolff are currently preparing for the Miami Grand Prix, which is due to take place on May 5.

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