Skip to main content

Horner: Wolff Brought ‘Element of Theater’ in Netflix-Filmed F1 Team Boss Meeting

Not everyone was on the same page about the FIA’s technical directive concerning porpoising as the Formula One team boss meeting on Saturday in Montreal became heated. 

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff slammed the others for “pitiful” behavior, adding they were guilty of “manipulations in the background.” According to BBC, it was a “bust-up with Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto.”  

“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 later on Saturday, per Reuters

Horner in particular has been outspoken about his thoughts on porpoising and the intervention. In case you missed it, the FIA issued a technical directive last week to the Formula One teams after drivers raised safety and health concerns in regards to the porpoising they have felt this season, especially in Baku. The governing body acted swiftly, finding it “necessary to intervene to require that the teams make the necessary adjustments to reduce or to eliminate this phenomenon.” 

“Ferrari presented its position regarding the TD and Toto is campaigning for a change in regulations–which is somewhat ironic because his car looked quite quick [during Sunday's race in Canada] with not a lot of bouncing,” Horner said, per ESPN. “And I think it was just pointed out to him clearly that perhaps his issues were within rather than everybody’s issue.”

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

The team boss was then asked if it was good that Netflix filmed the meeting. The crew is recording footage for the next season of the docuseries Drive to Survive. 

“I think there was an element of theatre going on in that meeting,” Horner replied, per Autosport. “So maybe with Lewis’s new movie coming along he’s getting in role fo

Part of the directive, which was issued Thursday, was allowing a second stay between the floor and main bodywork of the car, which Mercedes was the only team to run it during Friday’s practice. It was removed for the third practice, qualifying and the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Horner said, “What was particular disappointing was the second stay because that has to be discussed in a technical forum and that is overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out, which were the only team that turned up here with it even in advance of the TD. So work that one out.”

More Formula One Coverage: