Red Bull team principal Christian Horner isn’t pulling his punches when it comes to Mercedes and its team principal toto Wolff. Now, it’s been revealed that there was a moment where Horner pushed too far and lost the respect of Labour peer and vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Formula 1, Lord Peter Hain. This comes merely a week after Horner slammed Wolff in regards to his tax status.
Lord Hain has revealed that he was highly critical of Horner when he accused Lewis Hamilton of putting Max Verstappen’s life in danger last year at the British Grand Prix.
“He knew had Max come through that corner,” Horner said at the time. “He might not have seen him again for the afternoon.
“For me, it was a desperate move that thankfully didn’t have worse consequences than a written-off car and a bruised and battered driver.”
“That move was never on. Lewis is a world champion of seven titles. That was an amateur’s mistake and a desperate mistake.
“I don’t care what Lewis said. Have a look at your own analysis, draw your own comparisons. For me, that’s a hollow victory.”
Now, Lord Hain talked to the press about what happened last year, admitting that:
“I used to have a lot of respect for Christian, who is obviously a top Formula 1 leader.
“But I thought he was totally out of order at Silverstone and he never repeated that, I think he probably realised.
“I think he would have gained more respect if he apologised, but he never did. We don’t want to see anything like that ever again.
“I think that damaged him and Red Bull, and it didn’t do Formula 1 any good either.
“Competitive tension and rivalry is the meat and drink of Formula 1.”
At the time, Lewis Hamilton responded to Horner himself via a tweet:
“Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is OK.
“I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd.”
“I don’t really have anything to say to Christian. The win doesn’t feel hollow.
“I don’t think I am in a position to have to apologise for anything. We are out there racing.
“I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I am not going to whine about it.”
On talking to the Daily Mail last week, Horner fired shots at Toto Wolff as he called him a “tax exile”.
“We are very different. “If I’m not at the race track, I’m in the factory. I’m not living as a tax exile in Monaco, running a team remotely. I am hands-on.
“My diary is full from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave, dealing with issues within the team. I have very much an open-door policy.
“I grew up in the sport. I was a race driver that turned my hand to running a team. I’m a racer at heart.
“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 superyacht? I have no idea.”