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Toto Wolff

Wolff responds to Horner in latest war of words: I think he's just bored!

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have offered differing views regarding possible changes to the regulations aimed at eradicating the porpoising phenomenon.

Toto Wolff
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To news overview © XPB

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has joked that Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner is feeling "bored at the front" as back-and-forth comments continue over potential rule changes to tackle porpoising.

In response to the porpoising seen this season, a Technical Directive has been issued by F1's governing body, the FIA, and is set to take effect from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.

F1 teams may have to make changes to their floor to guarantee that they pass new deflection tests, and may be forced to raise the ride height of their car if they are judged to be bouncing too much.

However, in the background, discussions are taking place about a permanent solution to the porpoising for next season, including changes to the design regulations.

The biggest clash of opinion surrounds how many changes should be made for the 2023 campaign.

Red Bull, having profited from this season's new regulations, publicly disagree with an overhaul, whilst Mercedes, having fallen down the pecking order this season, want to see rule changes.

Wolff and Horner exchange digs again

At the French Grand Prix, Horner sent a dig in Mercedes' direction by suggesting that "there's an awful lot of lobbying" to change next year's regulations significantly "so a certain team can run its car lower and benefit from that concept".

When Horner's remarks were put to Wolff during a conversation with the media, including RacingNews365.com, the Austrian brushed them aside.

"I think he's just bored at the front," he commented.

"I don't know what he refers to, because at the end [of the day], we are all part of the same circus, we work with the same stakeholders.

"Lobbying... is he not lobbying? He sits in his office and he doesn't call anyone?"

Asked about the threat of rival teams taking legal action over the issue, Wolff continued: "You wonder why they are fighting so hard.

"I read in the media that it's not relevant, that it's not a big change, so why are they fighting that they're threatening to go legal?

"No team is ever going to go legal against the FIA if the FIA decides to implement something on safety grounds. I think this is just posing."

Wolff wants fix for "inherent issue" with F1's new cars

As for the current uncertainty over next year's regulations, and whether Mercedes would accept a compromise, Wolff described the situation as "business as usual".

"There is an inherent issue on the cars that we are not seeing here, that we did not see in Austria, neither did we see it at Silverstone, because the tracks are the flattest of the year – but it didn't go away," he stressed.

"The cars are way too stiff and they bounce, and if you ask the driver, you will probably have a majority that – if asked anonymously – will tell you that.

"I think there was such a discussion among the drivers and there's also an outcome that nobody talks about, and I think we'll see where that goes."

Wolff added: "I think it's not a matter of compromise about technical regulations, it's about technical regulations that protect the drivers and, if these cars are too stiff and too bouncy, then let's do something about it right now.

"Clearly, when you're running in the front, you want to just make sure that nothing changes, and when you're not running at the front, you want to make sure that a lot changes."

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