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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff slams ‘pitiful’ F1 rivals over porpoising row, Christian Horner hits back with ‘theatre’ jibe

Toto Wolff says rival team bosses are using “political games” in F1’s row over the bouncing cars, but Christian Horner accuses Wolff of acting up for Netflix cameras in fiery meeting; Watch British GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Sunday’s race at 3pm

Last Updated: 28/06/22 6:00am

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has accused his rivals of “disingenuous” and “pitiful” behaviour in F1’s ‘porpoising’ row, though Red Bull’s Christian Horner has hit back by claiming his counterpart is creating “theatre”.

Following a number of complaints from drivers about the new 2022 cars bouncing violently at high speed, the FIA issued a new technical directive ahead of the Canadian GP on safety grounds – leading to a stormy team bosses’ meeting in Montreal, where Wolff and Horner had differing views.

Horner, whose team are leading both championships and have a more stable car, has said it is unfair to change the rules when one team is struggling more than most, pointing the finger at the underperforming, and bouncing, Mercedes.

Wolff admitted that all teams were either trying to keep a competitive advantage or gain it but insisted the “situation has clearly gone too far”.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has questioned the FIA's plans to tackle the porpoising that has afflicted the cars this season

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has questioned the FIA’s plans to tackle the porpoising that has afflicted the cars this season

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has questioned the FIA’s plans to tackle the porpoising that has afflicted the cars this season

He said all drivers were suffering from what was a design issue that needed to be solved.

“Team principals trying to manipulate what is being said in order to keep the competitive advantage, and trying to play political games when the FIA tries to come up with a quick solution to at least put the cars in a better position, is disingenuous,” he said.

“This is a joint problem we are having as Formula 1… this is a design issue that needs to be solved. We have long-term effects that we can’t even judge.

“But at any time this is a safety risk and then coming up with little manipulations in the background, or Chinese whispers, or briefing the drivers is just pitiful.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff gives an honest interview to Martin Brundle about driver safety, Mercedes' problems and Lewis Hamilton's mindset

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff gives an honest interview to Martin Brundle about driver safety, Mercedes’ problems and Lewis Hamilton’s mindset

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff gives an honest interview to Martin Brundle about driver safety, Mercedes’ problems and Lewis Hamilton’s mindset

Wolff added: “Of course people will question whether my position is sincere or not.

“That’s why I’m saying it’s not only our problem.”

The once-dominant Mercedes are currently third in the constructors’ standings, 116 points behind Red Bull.

Horner accuses Wolff of creating ‘theatre’

The FIA’s new technical directive will force teams to alter their set-ups if they are found to be breaching a limit on vertical movement of their cars.

But Red Bull and Ferrari, first and second in the championship, have argued the bouncing is a matter for teams to solve independently and a technical directive should clarify rules rather than change them.

Relive Lewis Hamilton's huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year's British Grand Prix

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Relive Lewis Hamilton’s huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year’s British Grand Prix

Relive Lewis Hamilton’s huge crash with title rival Max Verstappen at last year’s British Grand Prix

After the Canadian GP, where Max Verstappen won again but Mercedes impressed in third and fourth despite their car issues, Horner said Wolff’s position was “ironic”.

“Ferrari presented its position regarding the TD [technical directive] and Toto is campaigning for a change in regulations -which is somewhat ironic because his car looked quite quick with not a lot of bouncing,” Horner said after the race.

“And I think it was just pointed out to him that perhaps his issues were within rather than everybody’s issue.”

With Netflix cameras having been following Wolff that weekend for the next season of the ‘Drive to Survive’ series, Horner added: “I think there was an element of theatre going on in that meeting.

Christian Horner admits it was a nervy watch from the pit wall as Carlos Sainz attempted to chase down Max Verstappen in the final stages of the race

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Christian Horner admits it was a nervy watch from the pit wall as Carlos Sainz attempted to chase down Max Verstappen in the final stages of the race

Christian Horner admits it was a nervy watch from the pit wall as Carlos Sainz attempted to chase down Max Verstappen in the final stages of the race

“So maybe with Lewis’s new movie coming along he’s getting in role for it!”

How to follow the British Grand Prix on Sky Sports

Formula 1 is coming home this weekend with the famous British Grand Prix set to provide a sporting spectacle live on Sky Sports.

The key times for a must-watch weekend on Sky Sports F1 are:

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team showed some genuine pace in the race, but insists there is still work to be done

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team showed some genuine pace in the race, but insists there is still work to be done

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team showed some genuine pace in the race, but insists there is still work to be done

  • Thursday welcomes the return of the live F1 Show from Silverstone at 6pm, as drivers join us for more exclusive interviews
  • The track action begins on Friday, with F1 practice, plus F2, F3 and W Series sessions
  • British GP qualifying is live at 3pm on Saturday, with build-up from 2.10pm following the W Series race
  • The British Grand Prix is live at 3pm on Sunday, with build-up from 1.30pm

All the action can also be followed online and via our digital platforms and streams, while the F1 Show will be live on the Sky Sports F1 YouTube channel. There will also be extensive updates on Sky Sports News.

The live Sky Sports F1 schedule

Thursday, June 30
6pm: The F1 Show

Friday, July 1
9.35am: F3 Practice
10.45am: F2 Practice
12.30pm: British GP Practice One Build-up (session starts 1pm)
2.50pm: F3 Qualifying
3.35pm: British GP Practice Two Build-up (session starts 4pm)
5.25pm: F2 Qualifying
6.10pm: W Series Qualifying

Saturday, July 2
9.50am: F3 Sprint Race
11.45am: British GP Practice Three Build-up (session starts 12pm)
1.10pm: W Series Race
2.10pm: British GP Qualifying Build-up
3pm: British GP Qualifying
4.55pm: F2 Sprint Race
6pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Sunday, July 3
8.30am: F3 Feature Race
10am: F2 Feature Race
1.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: British GP Build-up
3pm: THE 2022 BRITISH GRAND PRIX
5pm: British GP reaction: Chequered Flag
6pm: Ted’s Notebook

F1 2022 heads to Silverstone for the big event of the motorsport summer. Join Sky Sports F1 for extensive coverage across the British GP weekend – the race starts at 3pm on Sunday, July 3.


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