F1 preview: A lap at the United States Grand Prix
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Christian Horner has claimed “emotions ran high” last season as he opens up on his rivalry with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Horner described details about the battle between the pair amid disagreements over the team’s budget cap breach.
It comes after Horner was asked if he “thrives off” the rivalry with the Mercedes boss. The pair were embroiled in a dramatic title fight last season and have since battled on opposite sides of the fence on key issues this season.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Horner said: “Formula One is a competition and it’s a competitive business and people deal with competition and pressure in different ways. Of course, Mercedes have been the dominant team the last eight years,
“Last year was the first time a team has managed to beat them, with Max Verstappen, taking it all the way to the final race. You saw emotions run high, you saw the pressure how it permeates, how people sometimes deal with pressure.”
His comments come after Horner and Wolff have continued their fierce rivalry this season. Earlier in the campaign, Horner shot down Wolff’s demands for rule changes to deal with porpoising issues.
This culminated in an argument between the pair and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto at the Canadian Grand Prix. Tensions have increased since Red Bull’s breach of F1’s budget cap rules came to light ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Wolff slammed Horner, claiming Red Bull had been under investigation by the FIA for months. This caused Horner to hit back at his nearest rival, suggesting Red Bull could take legal action if rival constructors’ “defamatory” remarks were not withdrawn.
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He added: “So perhaps when these accusations are made, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and you know we take umbrage and extremely seriously the remarks that have been made.” Ferrari boss Binotto appeared to side with Mercedes, joining Wolff for private talks on the Friday ahead of the Singapore GP.
Wolff has since hit back at the FIA’s decision to find Mercedes guilty of just a minor breach of FIA rules. He explained: “Is it a so-called minor breach, because I think the word is probably not correct?
“If you’re spending £4.5m ($5) more, and you’re still in the minor breach, it still has a big impact on the championship.”
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