Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hits out at ‘windbag’ Christian Horner over bendy wing comments

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has labelled Red Bull chief Christian Horner ‘as “a bit of windbag who wants to be on camera” as the war of words regarding flexi-wings escalated between the pair in Azerbaijan.

The comments came after Horner warned Wolff to ‘keep his mouth shut’ and “be careful what you wish for” after hinting Red Bull could decide to protest Mercedes’ flexible front wings.

Red Bull insist their car is fully in line with FIA regulations and accused rival teams of trying to ‘slow down’ the championship leaders with their complaints.

A handful of teams, including Red Bull, have come under fire in recent weeks about their so-called ‘bendy wing’, with the FIA introducing new tests to clamp down on illegal wing movement.

However, after seeing footage on Sky Sports F1 of the rear wing on the Mercedes during first practice in Baku, Horner questioned what he was seeing: “That, if anything around here, looks maybe a bit worse than ours.”

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“Obviously a lot of noise has been made about the rear wing and a lot of revisions have had to be made.

“If you’re picking on one end you have to look at the other. You can’t look at one part in isolation and say ‘Oh, that set of rules only applies to that element on that car’. You have to look at all areas.

“Sometimes you have to be a bit careful what you wish for.

“You’re opening a complete can of worms, and that’s why there are stringent tests in place. All cars have a degree of flexibility. It’s impossible to make an entirely rigid structure when you have tonnes of downforce applied to it.

“The rules have to evolve. You have some very bright technicians that are designing components to comply with the rules, that’s what we pay them for, that’s what Formula 1’s all about, that engineering ingenuity.

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Asked whether a protest was still on the cards over Red bull’s wing, Wolff added: “The topic remains open.”

Pointedly, he said: “The last one taken out with front-wing flex was Red Bull, I think it was in 2014, so they’ve a little bit of a track record there.

“You just have to get on with things.”

Mercedes are running different wings for qualifying ahead of the Azerbajin Grand Prix.

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