The rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the 2022 Formula 1 season went from the asphalt to the pit wall, as Red Bull and Mercedes bosses Christian Horner and Toto Wolff exchanged statements throughout the entire season. grade. The result of the fight was settled with the title for the Dutchman in the last lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi after a great controversy over the way in which the test was resumed.
During the safety car period caused by Nicholas Latifi’s accident, the directors of both teams were putting pressure on the one who was still the race director, Michael Masi , to defend the interests of their respective teams. In Horner’s case, he hoped they would relaunch the competition, while Wolff wanted the checkered flag to be seen behind the Safety Car.
They did all this through the radio, in messages that were transmitted through the international signal and that caused a stir. The first time these messages could be heard was at the Spanish Grand Prix, and after the last appointment in Yas Marina they were banned from appearing on television.
On the official Formula 1 podcast, Beyond the Grid , the Red Bull boss spoke about that episode and about his relationship with the rival with whom he has had one of his most intense experiences. When asked if he thought public radio play was a defining factor last season, he said, “No, I don’t think so.”
“That pressure started with Toto [Wolff] for the first time because the radio communications began to be broadcast, and I may have been guilty of that in the strategic meetings with the commission for saying it to get it going,” acknowledged the Briton. “The anticipation was between the team managers and the referee [FIA race director].”
“The result of that I think would be a fascinating exchange between the bosses and the race director if you felt there was something that could really be argued,” said the Red Bull chief executive.
Christian Horner expressed what those moments were like when the world saw how the FOM retransmitted the radios of the directors of the Formula 1 teams: “I was in Barcelona when Toto’s message to Mickey [Michael Masi] was broadcast, and it was something strange, I had never seen that, because everything is sent through the communicators of the teams”.
“At Silverstone you heard about Toto’s email to Michael, but I don’t think pressure should be put on race directors by a boss,” he said. “However, on the other hand, he and I have been talking to race control arguing that there should be penalties.
Horner also insisted on telling what happened in the final laps of Yas Marina: “At that point everything became more competitive, you were trying to give your best for your team, and of course you were going to argue for it. In Abu Dhabi, Toto tried not to withdraw the safety car and my way of reacting was trying to defend my team”.
“The mistake was not letting the two lagging cars overtake, the key factor was Latifi’s accident, and from there the Safety Car came out with several laps still to go,” continued the Englishman. “There were still two cars to unfold, and if they hadn’t let them through I don’t think it would change too much.”
“I think he was pushing for the safety car not to end, and last year may have been one of the most competitive world championships, probably the most in decades, some will not agree with what happened and others will not be proud either. The only mistake Michael made was to only let two cars through,” Horner said.
The head of the energy drinks team acknowledged that Wolff has always had an eye on the Milton Keynes team: “Toto has always seen Red Bull as a threat, he has never had control over us, and he has been very intense, but you can use the voices of pilots to exert pressure. You can also create a media circus.”
Do you want to read our news before anyone else and for free? Follow us here on our Telegram channel and you won’t miss a thing. All the information, at your fingertips!