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Horner vs Wolff: Already clashing before the start of the 2022 F1 season

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has taken aim at Mercedes boss Toto Wolff ahead of the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season this weekend, when the Bahrain Grand Prix will take place.

Last season saw Max Verstappen win the world championship in controversial circumstances in the final lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi, and Horner has shown that there is little love lost between himself and his Mercedes counterpart.

"We are very different," Horner said in an interview with the Daily Mail.

"If I'm not at the racetrack, 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."

Horner added that the two men are different as a result of their respective backgrounds.

"I grew up in the sport," he continued.

"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 super yacht? I have no idea."

Horner and Wolff in a press conference
Horner and Wolff in a press conference

Some respect between Horner and Wolff

Nevertheless, the Red Bull chief said that he is full of respect for his Mercedes counterpart.

"My relationship with Toto is... you know, it's professional," he said.

"He's not the kind of guy I'm going to go and have dinner with or spend private time with, but I have a respect for what he's done and what he's achieved."

Criticism of Mercedes' tactics

Horner went on to criticise Mercedes' tactics over the winter break and accused them of trying to discredit Verstappen's title triumph.

"I felt what was going on behind the scenes over the Christmas period was a bit underhand," he continued.

"The pressure that was put on the FIA, the positioning, the pressure that was put on the race director, to try to discredit what we had achieved."

Horner with Hamilton and Verstappen
Horner with Hamilton and Verstappen

Horner's comment on 'Drive to Survive'

Apart from his comments to the Daily Mail, Horner has also caused a stir with a line caught by Netflix's 'Drive to Survive' docuseries.

"I wish he'd shut the f**k up," Horner said about Lewis Hamilton during last season.

This weekend, this rivalry will move from the column inches and back on the track.

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