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Wolff insists heated rivalry with Horner is 'absolutely genuine'

The racing rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull during the 2021 F1 title battle has also spilled over into off-track relations, with a seemingly bitter relationship developing between team bosses Toto Wolff and Christian Horner. Wolff has explained why this has happened.

Toto Wolff admits that his fierce rivalry with Christian Horner is "absolutely genuine" given the high stakes involved in the fight for the championship. Whilst Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen have been battling for the title on the circuit, tensions have flared off-track between their respective Team Principals Wolff and Horner. Formula 1 might provide entertainment as well as sport - particularly in light of the success of Netflix's documentary series Drive to Survive - but Wolff insists that his seemingly bitter relationship with Horner is completely real. "It's absolutely genuine, because there's so much at stake," Wolff told the F1 Nation podcast. "It's ambitious people, ambitious teams that are fighting really tooth-to-nail for this championship. And once you're in that, there's just no ability in your mind to even create a space for another person, at least for me. "I have no negative nor positive emotions, but I'm trying to really stay in that place. Sometimes I was carried away when I heard comments that annoyed me, but only twice this season. "The rest is no emotion, neither positive nor negative."

"Very different personalities"

Wolff does not believe that it would be possible to have a normal relationship with Horner given the scenario that they are in, and also reckons they are very different characters who take varying approaches to their role. "It is impossible to just have a relationship," the Silver Arrows' boss explained. "Because there's so much at stake. "Everybody's just trying to defend the interests of the team. We are very different personalities, also, [in] the way we probably perceive the world. "I try to just stay authentic to what I believe is right, and he does it his way. Maybe in the future, we can have a laugh about it, but not today." The title battle will reach its conclusion at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Verstappen and Hamilton arriving at the event on equal points in the Drivers' standings. Meanwhile, Mercedes have extended their advantage over Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship to 28 points.

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2