Red Bull boss Christian Horner criticised Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for suggesting that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s title battle could be determined by an unsporting crash in the same fashion as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
This year’s championship is one of the most exciting battles in recent Formula 1 history.
Mercedes currently lead Red Bull by 23 points in the constructors’ standings but the Milton Keynes-based team have the advantage in the Drivers’ Championship as Dutch star Verstappen leads seven-time world champion Hamilton by just 12 points with five races to go.
Red Bull boss Horner was particularly frustrated with Wolff’s comments in a recent Daily Mail interview last week that the two rivals could crash by taking each other out in the name of the championship race.
“I was disappointed to read comments condoning this,” Horner has responded to the Daily Mail. “We want a fair fight between now and the end of the season. Any driver would want to win it on track.
“We are a racing team and aiming to win the constructor title and we also want to pull off the feat without a collision between our drivers.
“Austin [a nail-biter won by Verstappen a fortnight ago to give him a 12-point lead] was a great race and we want a few more Austins before the end of the year. Nobody wants this decided in a gravel trap.”
Horner was also labelled a ‘pantomime protagonist’ by Wolff, and the 47-year-old responded ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix.
“Look, we all know that Toto has a lot to say but I was quite flattered to be called a protagonist, if you look at the definition of what it means,” Horner admitted.
“You need an antagonist to have a protagonist and one could say perhaps Toto fills that role pretty well. If it were a pantomime, maybe the pantomime dame role might suit him. But it is all about what goes on on the track and it is a great competition between the teams.
“It is no-holds barred, it is pit-walls against pit-walls, drivers against drivers, engine suppliers against engine suppliers, chassis against chassis. It is fantastic and we are loving it.
Red Bull are the favourites to secure the win in Mexico this weekend, as the high altitude of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez subsequently helps the Honda engine more than its Mercedes counterpart.
Do you think Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will suffer a 'Senna-Prost' crash? Let us know in the comments section.
Hamilton started the weekend with a one-two in first practice at the Mexico City circuit but Verstappen and Red Bull dominated in the second session.
The 24-year-old surged ahead, finishing four-tenths clear of Valtteri Bottas and another tenth faster than Hamilton.
The 2021 title race is on the home straight with just five races remaining, with Hamilton coming second behind Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
While the seven-time world champion pushed all the way to the end, the Dutchman held on to extend his lead at the top of the standings.
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