As if there isn’t enough tension in the Formula One paddock with everything that has been happening in the series over the past few weeks, now Mercedes team boss Toto Wolf and Red Bull boss Christian Horner, are in a war of words over Toto calling Max Verstappen’s father and asking him to speak to his son about staying out of the way in the final two races of the season.
Horner was quite shocked when told of the call by Jos Verstappen at the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend and it didn’t take a lot for him to express that to Sky Sports….
"Jos told me when he got here on Thursday and I was just a bit surprised that Toto was calling another driver's father from another team," he said. "I think Jos was a bit surprised when he put the phone down to Toto that not only was he commenting on behalf of Mercedes, but Ferrari as well that the way Max was conducting himself wasn't winning him any favours and he should wind his neck in.”
“I've not heard of a team principal calling up other driver's fathers before, but obviously Toto felt the need to do so. I think it is total rubbish. If Toto wants to have a race for his drivers we can do that at 11am tomorrow then we can have the Grand Prix at 2pm where everybody can race."
In his defence, Toto explained that his intentions were to try and make sure there was no controversy in the final two races of the season and that max didn’t have any issues hanging over his head due to punting one of the title contenders off track.
"I just want to have a great season finale and no controversy because of another car causing a collision and being blamed for having interfered in the championship. I did it probably out of a more holistic approach of sympathy for Max, but if things are perceived in the wrong way in another team they don't need me, they need a psychiatrist,” he said.
“Among my discussion with Jos, we talked through a situation, imagine the title is down to the wire between Lewis and Nico and there is a hard manoeuvre and Max loses it and shunts into one of our guys and the championship is over, he doesn't need that discussion. I didn't say don't race them, just keep that tiny little margin of avoiding a collision because that would be very controversial for everyone.”
Young Max didn’t seem too concerned with the situation that was erupting around him however…..
"I was next to my dad when he called. He went outside, I was watching TV and didn't want to be disturbed. I am just here to focus on my job and that is to drive fast for Red Bull, not Mercedes."