McLaren boss Zak Brown casts verdict on Toto Wolff and Christian Horner – ‘A step too far’

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McLaren boss Zak Brown has shared his opinion on the frosty rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner following their pursuit of the F1 crown last season. During the rollercoaster 2021 campaign, the Red Bull team principal and his opposite number often traded barbs back and forth in an attempt to land a psychological blow.

The pair appeared to have a strained relationship and they were never too far away from the headlines. This was also often the case between their two drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who engaged in the most thrilling F1 world championship battle to date.

The feistiness looks to continue and Brown commented on their spat. “It’s not personally my style because I think it’s unfortunate [that] people started playing to the camera and that then started to modify the outcome of races and people’s behaviours,” he told the Evening Standard.

“So, I don’t think that was healthy. Seeing rivalries are great but, when they tip over to then altering how the sport is managed or governed, that’s a step too far.” Whether that rivalry in 2022 continues remains to be seen ahead of the first race in Bahrain this season.

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Brown’s McLaren team enjoyed a strong 2021 season and are certainly on the right track, having finished fourth in the contrsuctors’ standings with Lando Norris starring while Daniel Ricciardo remains a man who can deliver the goods when needed. Brown’s goal in the future will be to challenge for the constructors’ title with Wolff and Horner.

But for the time being it looks set to be another battle between Wolff and Horner for the constructors’ title. And when asked to desrcibe his relationship with the Mercedes team principal, Horner told the Daily Mail: “My relationship with Toto is… you know, it’s professional. He’s not the kind of guy I’m going to go and have dinner with or spend private time with, but I have a respect for what he’s done and what he’s achieved,” he began. “Of course, as far as I’m concerned, 2021 is done and dusted. It’s now all about 2022. Will he be the main opponent this year? I have no idea.

“Do I like him? I have no personal issue with Toto. He’s the kind of guy that bites quite easy, so it’s always fun to wind him up a bit. But he’s not a bad guy, that’s for sure.”

The 48-year-old then questioned whether Wolff shares the same enthusiasm for F1 and claimed the Austrian is driven more by the financial side of the industry than he is. “Toto has come from a very different background. He has a financial background and is very driven by what the balance sheet says. Results dictate that performance. Does he share the same passion as a racer? I have no idea. Will he be here in 10 years’ time or will he have cashed in and be on his super yacht? I have no idea.”

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