F1: Hamilton and Bottas take the W12 Mercedes around Bahrain
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has disagreed with the handling of Mercedes’ tough weekend in Baku after his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff publicly ‘roasted’ his team.
The two have exchanged heated words via the media over the last few weeks over a variety of topics, most notably the ongoing conversations about wings in Formula One.
Horner was heard telling Wolff to “keep his mouth shut” during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and in response, the Austrian described the Briton as a “windbag” who “just wants to be on camera.”
The comments became so heated that even seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton suggested they don their boxing gloves and get in a ring to sort it out.
In the aftermath of the race, which saw Hamilton finish in P15 and his teammate Valtteri Bottas down in P12, Wolff was critical of his team’s performance, branding it “not acceptable” after they had hoped to bounce back from a miserable weekend in Monaco.
Red Bull troll Mercedes chief Toto Wolff after Sergio Perez’s victory
With just seven points scored across two races, Red Bull extended their lead in the Constructors’ Championship with a win for Sergio Perez, and remained top of the Drivers’ Championship, despite Max Verstappen not finishing the race through no fault of his own.
“A lot’s been made of Toto’s comments this weekend,” said Horner after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“He’s never afraid to roast his team publicly, which I disagree with, but that’s his prerogative.”
But speaking of their own performance, with two back-to-back wins in the championship, Horner did admit Red Bull still have plenty to work on to beat Mercedes consistently.
“In Monaco and here we didn’t have a car that was competitive, full stop,” added Horner.
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“We have underlying issues – we are not getting the car in a happy window for the tyres.
“We know the deficit and we know we have gaps which we simply have to overcome.
“But I have no doubt this is a team which is so strong and so angry, and we will turn that anger into positive form and come back.”
Meanwhile. Mercedes track engineering director Andrew Shovlin added: “In the last two races we haven’t been good enough. Not fast enough, we’ve made mistakes, we struggle to switch the tyres on and we’ve been on the back foot through free practice.
“We know the level it takes to win championships and we are not at that level right now, so we need to regroup and come back performing the way we know we can.
“We have the team, the car, and the drivers to win this, but we need to be tough and honest with ourselves over the next few days.
“We’ve had days like this before and each time we’ve come back strong, and we’ll look to do that in France.”
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