Christian Horner admits ‘heated’ argument with Toto Wolff

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Christian Horner has admitted he had a “heated exchange” with Toto Wolff away from the cameras in race control last season. Horner revealed he was angry at Wolff and accused him of “lobbying the race director” after he heard the Mercedes boss was sending emails to race director Michael Masi.

The argument came after Max Verstappen’s 51G crash at last season’s British Grand Prix. The accident saw Verstappen transferred to hospital for precautionary checks while Hamilton stayed on track and went on to win the race.

Speaking on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Horner admitted he had pushed for fans to be given access to more team radio over the TV broadcast. This came into effect last season but was dropped after it seemed to show team bosses pushing race directors into certain decisions.

However, Horner stressed team radio messages to the FIA should have gone through the team manager and not through team principals. He said: “It was in Barcelona that suddenly I hear they broadcast Toto on the phone to Michael. And I thought that’s a bit strange because I had never had a one-to-one channel, it had always been centred through our team manager.

“Then it really permeated at Silverstone. Where suddenly there was an awful lot of dialogue from Toto to Michael. Then he’s sending him an email and then he’s coming up (to race control) and I thought I’m not having that I’m going up. I felt it was incredibly one-sided that a team principal should not be able to lobby and influence the race director.

“With hindsight, me and Toto had a fairly heated exchange in race control at that event. Toto was obviously arguing his corner that his driver shouldn’t be penalised and I have got a driver in hospital and a car taken out of the race and was feeling pretty aggrieved by it.”

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The rivalry between the pair appears to have carried over into 2022 with the pair apparently clashing again at this season’s Canadian Grand Prix. Wolff had been pushing for new rules changes after Hamilton suffered back pains due to porpoising at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Horner and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto pushed back with a source then claiming Wolff “lost his s**t” with the other bosses.

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