Mercedes and Red Bull at odds over Wolff-Verstappen phone call


Toto Wolff - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

A row has broken out after it was found that Toto Wolff made a telephone call to Jos Verstappen, with the belief that he requested the Dutchman to ask Max Verstappen to avoid driving aggressively against his championship chasing drivers.

Wolff is said to be unhappy with the way the younger Verstappen banged wheels with Nico Rosberg at the first corner of the Mexican Grand Prix, a move that could have compromised the German’s championship challenge, and the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport is thought to have asked the elder Verstappen to lessen his aggression.

“Jos told me that when he got here on Thursday and I was just a bit surprised that Toto called a driver’s father from another team,” Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner said to Sky. “I was a bit surprised hearing that. I am not a team principal calling another team’s driver’s father. Obviously Toto would and felt the need to do so!

“I’m not planning on calling Lewis’ dad and I don’t know Keke’s number, so nothing here to get involved into.” I think it’s rubbish really. Everybody can race, but if Toto wants, we can have a drivers’ meeting tomorrow at 11am before the race at 2pm.

“The guys, Daniel and Max, are going to do the best job they can, for the best result they can and that’s what they are paid for. Of course, there is a championship going on, but it’s between those two relevant drivers and our interest is to do the best on this race, as in any other.”

However Wolff says that he regularly talks to Jos Verstappen about various things, and felt their chat this time was nothing out of the ordinary.

“It is not true that I complained. Jos and I are very friendly,” said Wolff. “We regularly talk and sometimes have dinner together – so there was nothing unusual about our recent chat. I have no problem with Max at all.”