Horner claims he’s learnt ‘not to listen’ too much what Toto Wolff says

Horner claims he's learnt 'not to listen' too much what Toto Wolff says

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has said that he has learned over the years to not pay too much attention to what Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says to the media.

Christian Horner says he has learned not to pay too much attention to Toto Wolff after his rival declared that the Formula 1 championship race for this year was already decided.

Few might disregard Max Verstappen’s strong performance at the Japanese Grand Prix, but he won his third out of the four races this year, making him the clear front-runner to claim his fourth world championship.

His only setback came after retired in Australia due to a brake fire but was leading from pole position at the time. This indicates that Verstappen would be heading to China next week with a perfect record if not for the setback.

While Verstappen’s closest rival, Ferrari, is hoping to make some progress and start challenging Red Bull for victories, Wolff believes that nobody can ever stop Verstappen.

“No one is going to catch Max this year,” said Wolff in Japan. “His driving and the car is just spectacular.

“You can see the way he manages the tyres and, basically, this season now is [about] best of the rest.”

However, Red Bull refuses to see everything to be as straightforward as that and Horner took the chance to make a subtle jab at his rival.

“It’s very early to write off your year,” Horner replied when asked by reporters about the comments. “There’s still 20 races to go and I’ve learned not to listen too much to what Toto said over the years.”

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko agreed with Horner that it was too early for rivals to congratulate them on clinching the title.

“We’ve only driven four races, there are 20 to go,” he said. “In Melbourne, we saw how quickly everything can turn around. Ferrari is strong and reliable, we can’t write them off yet.”

However, Marko conceded that Max was undoubtedly in his perfect form at the moment.

“Everything was clear in Suzuka,” he added “But then Max drove this incredible fastest lap on worn tyres, not just for fun, but to get his message across: ‘Hello, the rest of you are only there to finish second!’”

Horner also believed Verstappen was in incredible form, but acknowledged that the world championship is still far from getting secured.

“Yes, the form that he had last year has just carried through,” agreed Horner. “He’s in great shape.

“He’s fit, he is lean and the car is in a great window. You can hear the spare capacity he has in the car. He wants to know about not just who’s behind him, but who’s behind that as well, and what times are they doing.

“The capacity he has is very impressive.”

Wolff has also fuelled speculation that Mercedes might be attempting to sign Verstappen to drive for the Silver Arrows next year despite his seemingly unbreakable contract with Red Bull, which makes sense given that he is the best driver on the grid at the moment.

Horner once again did not spend much time discussing Wolff’s incendiary remarks after stating to Sky Deutschland last week that Verstappen will “100%” still be a Red Bull driver in 2025.

“We have achieved an awful lot together,” Horner had previously pointed out. “He’s got a great team around him, he’s got great faith in that team. He’s committed to an agreement to 2028, and from the team side – from Max’s side – we’re determined to build on the success we’ve achieved already.”

Verstappen has stated he has no plans to leave Red Bull for Mercedes or any other team before the end of his current contract, despite rumors of a rift inside the team.

“I am very relaxed and very happy at the team,” the triple world champion said. “The performance is there, so there is no reason to leave.

“You never know in general what happens in life, or comes to you, or happens around you or what might influence you.”

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