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Toto Wolff

Wolff admits he 'really regrets' war of words with Horner

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said that he regrets how his relationship with Red Bull's Christian Horner deteriorated during 2021.

Wolff Horner
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

The off-track rivalry between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, as the leaders of the two title-contending teams in 2021, became as much of a source of headlines in 2021 as the duels between their star drivers.

The sniping between the pair started quite early on in the year in relation to flexing wings on their cars, escalating into a terse relationship as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had their on-track run-ins.

Wolff and Horner shook hands on the eve of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Verstappen's eventual championship win that sparked off its own, ongoing, controversy.

Wolff "really regrets" breakdown of relations

Wolff has since admitted that he regrets how his relationship with Horner fell apart, having been largely amicable up until 2021.

"I really regret it," he told Dutch publication Formule 1 Magazine.

"I always try to stay professional and approach things professionally. It got very personal between the two of us at some point, that's right.

"He told me to 'keep my mouth shut' [during the flexi-wing situation] and then I responded by saying he was a windbag and talked too much for the cameras. I shouldn't have said that.

"It's a professional relationship and you know that even your worst enemy has a best friend, so you have to respect that person, even if you fight a hard duel in a professional environment."

Susie Wolff helped keep the peace...

Wolff went on to explain that it was his wife, Formula E Venturi team boss Susie, who gave him a slap on the wrist at home for how the relationship with Horner was playing out.

"Susie pointed that out to me very clearly," Wolff explained.

"She said, 'Why are you having these kinds of discussions? You're trying to win, respect that. Even if someone goes in that direction, you don't have to'. That's called female social intelligence!"

Laughing about the situation, Wolff said he believes that intelligence is somewhat lacking in men.

"We sometimes have too many hormones," he admitted.

Following the 2021 season, Horner and Wolff have congratulated each other on their respective title wins, with Verstappen wrapping up the Drivers' Championship and Mercedes winning the Constructors'.

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