Mercedes chief Toto Wolff takes aim at Red Bull rival Christian Horner

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has fired shots at Red Bull boss Christian Horner as the title race between the two teams enters the home straight.

Wolff is currently leading the Silver Arrows’ title defence as they sit 22.5 points clear of Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship standings.

Mercedes’ rivals have the upper hand in the Drivers’ Championship, and Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Wolff and star driver Lewis Hamilton are beginning to crack and falter under the ‘different type of pressure’ placed on the defending champions by Max Verstappen.

Wolff believes the behaviour of his rival Horner on the popular Netflix show ‘Drive to Survive’ is simply because he is a showman just stirring the pot for the cameras.

“What Christian says about me feeling pressure – no, not at all,” Wolff told the Daily Mail.

“I feel he is one of the protagonists in a pantomime, part of the Formula One cast, and for me as a stakeholder, as a team owner, it's great that he creates these kinds of stories.

“But it's irrelevant. People have a microphone in front of them or a camera on them and they start to behave like little actors, like Hollywood.

“It's very good that they fill in the blanks and make it pantomime. That's good for the sport and good for Netflix because they want to portray the people, not just the stopwatch.

“People have realised they are being quoted if they say controversial things. It gives them media time, it gets their picture in the newspapers.”

Do you think Mercedes are feeling the pressure in the 2021 F1 title race? Let us know in the comments section.

Wolff believes the exaggerated drama and blown-up issues between the two team bosses is a throwback to the days when Formula 1 was owned by the controversial Bernie Ecclestone.

“In many ways, we are going back to our roots because what Bernie Ecclestone created back in the day was racing and soap,” Wolff added.

“And when there was not enough racing he made soap, he was always good for a headline. So we're back there.

“But I don't get drawn into it. I find it amusing, but it doesn't touch me.

“Look, I've had so many hard years in my life that this – fighting for a Formula One championship – is not on the scale.”

The 2021 title race is into the home straight with just five races remaining, after Hamilton finished second behind Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

While the seven-time world champion pushed all the way to the end, the Dutchman held on to extend his lead at the top of the standings.

Formula 1 returns to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the Mexican Grand Prix on November 7, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a slender 12-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.

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