Less needle in Ferrari F1 title fight after Wolff clash
Last season, Horner’s fight with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff got incredibly personal at times as they engaged in a war of words at times.
But although things are ultra close between Red Bull and Ferrari this season, so far there have been no public signs of the kind of animosity that has been commonplace before.
When asked how different the fight was this year against Ferrari compared to Wolff’s clash in 2021, Horner replied: “Well Mattia is a nice guy. So, I mean, it’s just a different type of competition.
“But you write Toto. He has plenty of time to get back into the series. But, look, I think we’re very focused on ourselves. The nine teams are our competitors.
“And I think last year there was a lot of needles, there was a lot going on off the track, as well as on the track, whereas this season, this year seems a lot more focused on what’s going on. on the track. And I think the racing was great between Charles and Max.
“The first races were epic. And if that continues throughout the season, inevitably it will boil over at some point as the competition becomes more competitive and the stakes rise in the second half of the year. But certainly what we’ve seen so far is a very respectful race, a hard race, but a fair race. And like I said, I think you’re going to see Mercedes joining that party pretty soon.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Another key difference in the championship fight this season is that Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen seem to have a much easier relationship, having raced and fought hard since karting.
Last season, tensions between Verstappen and Hamilton flared following controversial collisions at the British and Italian Grands Prix.
Horner told Miami that the level of respect shown between Leclerc and Verstappen was admirable.
“I think it’s been so close with Ferrari, it’s been a great race, and you can see there’s great respect between Charles and Max,” he said.
“They’re having fun racing, you can see that, and I was kind of hoping we weren’t ready for another year of competition like last year. But it looks like this one could go all the way. at the end too.