Wolff sides with Marko, hits back at Red Bull CEO Mintzlaff

"In life there is nothing more than 100 percent"


6 May 2024 - 15:42
Wolff sides with Marko, hits back (...)

Toto Wolff has lashed back at one of the top CEOs of the Red Bull drinks empire, slamming comments made in Miami by Oliver Mintzlaff.

Wolff has made no secret about his attempt to woo Max Verstappen to Mercedes amid Red Bull’s ongoing power struggle, earning him a rebuke from Mintzlaff as the German businessman made a rare visit to the F1 paddock.

"I understand the pressure that Toto Wolff and perhaps other teams are under after years of being second to none," Mintzlaff told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "But I think Mr Wolff should concentrate on his challenges. He has enough of them.

"It’s also a matter of respect to keep talking about other teams’ personnel. That is not appropriate," he added.

Mercedes boss Wolff hit back hard.

"I have no idea what the guy means with these statements. That’s why it’s unnecessary to comment," he told Sky Deutschland in Miami.

Mintzlaff had also said that he is "1000 percent" confident that Verstappen will still be a Red Bull driver next year.

"A thousand percent?" Wolff mocked in reply. "In life there is nothing more than 100 percent."

He also told the Austrian broadcaster ORF: "What he says has no relevance to me. Maybe he just wants to be on TV."

Interestingly, while Wolff bickers with Mintzlaff, he suggests he is actually aligned with Red Bull’s F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko over the power struggle and Christian Horner affair.

"We are both Austrians and we stick together, even if there are sometimes strong differences of opinion," Wolff said, having been spotted on conversation with Marko in Miami.

"Let me just say that we have a common and very strong opinion on several things that have happened in recent months," he added. "We just exchanged our ideas about that."

Wolff was also seen chatting with Red Bull’s departing Adrian Newey in Miami.

When asked if he can reveal what they talked about, he smiled: "No. He’s a great guy. The track record he has in Formula 1 is incredible."

As for Verstappen, Wolff admits that his driver deliberations for 2025 are currently on hold because "We’re waiting to see what Max does".

"But of course we’re also keeping an eye on the other drivers," the Mercedes team boss and co-owner added. "Carlos (Ferrari) is very fast as well. We’re a little bit in observation mode.

"But it’s not my decision. It’s Max’s."

And when does he expect a decision to be made?: "It’s not days, but probably weeks or months," Wolff said.

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