Pilots behave with more maturity than their team leaders
Mathias Lauda is the latest motorsport personality to criticize Christian Horner and Toto Wolff, calling them “childish”.
Horner and Wolff have spent much of this season insulting each other and then calling for respect.
While it’s fair to say that both team managers are under more pressure than ever before with their drivers vying for the world title, it has taken an unpleasant turn in recent weeks.
In the last two racing weekends alone, Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying at the Sao Paulo GP due to a DRS violation, which prompted Wolff to threaten to “watch every piece of tape” that comes out of the Red Bull.
Verstappen and Hamilton were both fined over the weekend while a few days later Mercedes asked for the right to review the stewards’ decision not to penalize Verstappen’s defense at Turn 4.
Fast forward to Qatar and Horner and Wolff were once again tackling Mercedes’ rear wing and whether the scuffs Red Bull saw actually existed or were “ghosts” as Wolff put it. .
But while their team bosses had a lot to say, and sometimes over each other, Hamilton and Verstappen shook hands after qualifying and the race, showing a lack of sportsmanship. cruelly to the hierarchy of their teams.
“I think pilots behave more mature than team leaders,” Lauda told ServusTV.
“With Max and Lewis there have never been any serious problems all season, even after the Silverstone incident.
“In fact, team leaders are childish.”
But while they put the pantomime in the background, Formula One fights an exciting battle for the world title with Verstappen leads Hamilton by eight points with two races to go.
If Hamilton wins the next race in Saudi Arabia and takes the point of the fastest lap, they will go to Abu Dhabi on a level playing field, but with Verstappen in the lead due to more race wins.
A retirement for both in Abu Dhabi would give Verstappen a first world title.
“This has happened in Formula 1 before,” Lauda points out, “in an equally fierce duel, especially with Prost against Senna.”
When it comes to the rear wing issue that still makes headlines, the 40-year-old is confident both teams are playing fair.
“At this point in the season, people are in control of the aerodynamics,” he said. “Red Bull Racing just had some problems on Friday in Qatar.
“Both teams are now pulling everything out of the car and trying to improve it further, but I’m sure it will be fair.”