Wolff argues controversy is good for F1
By Mat Coch
Sunday 15th August, 2021 - 8:05am
Amid the ongoing war of words between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff in the media, the latter has claimed controversy is good for Formula 1.
Red Bull and Mercedes are locked in a tight battle in both constructors’ and drivers’ championships, the former recently losing control of both after two disastrous race weekends on the trot.
The squad left the British Grand Prix with only three points courtesy of Max Verstappen’s performance in Sprint Qualifying, and added only two more at the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out.
It’s seem momentum swing heavily back in favour of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
Throughout that period, both Wolff and Horner used the media to fire shots at one another as the title battle between their teams spilled off the race track.
The, at time petty, points scoring they played in the press became apparent in the aftermath of the clash between Verstappen and Hamilton on the opening lap in Silverstone.
While Horner antagonised the situation with emotion driven comments in the immediate aftermath, the situation was exacerbated by his team’s optimistic request to have the incident reviewed.
Once that was thrown out, Mercedes struck back with a scathing statement which claimed Red Bull had sought to tarnish the reputation of Hamilton and his team.
It was, according to Wolff’s public comments which followed, his operation’s attempt to defuse the situation or, to use the Austrian’s words, ‘de-escalate’.
The saga has created a volatile championship battle and rivalry between the two operations, the likes of which has not been seen in many years.
It’s also driven up the sport’s metrics as fans tune in to witness it unfold.
“I think Formula One needs content and controversy,” Wolff said when asked if F1 should manage its dirty laundry behind closed doors.
“As long as it is around the sport, it can be quite entertaining.
“But there is certain boundaries that we that we need to respect and the sport should unite and not create more polarisation,” he added, implying reference to Horner’s statements in Britain.
“Especially in a sport that cannot be proud of that stage yet about its diversity and equality.
“We need to just get the words right and therefore, let’s aim to de-escalate rather than to fuel.”
Formula 1 returns with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27-29.