Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have stated that they “moved on” from last year’s rivalry.
The competition between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing was intense in 2021 both on and off the track. That also included the team principals, who had frequently made controversial statements towards each other.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Wolff admitted that they needed to stop their confrontation as it, especially at the Abu Dhabi GP, had affected the championship.
“It’s to be expected. It got fierce at times and brutal. But there’s a lot at stake,” he said.
“It’s a Formula 1 world championship, and there’s the fighting on track, and the fighting off track for advantages. So that’s okay.
“But we need to move on. There’s been so much talk about Abu Dhabi, that it came to a point that it is really damaging for all of us stakeholders of F1, and we’ve closed the chapter and moved on. Now it’s about 2022, the game is on again, all points to zero, and new opportunity and new risk.”
Horner added that the main focus was on the new technical regulations.
“I think that maybe we share differences of opinion over Abu Dhabi, but that’s all done and dusted, and all focus is very much now on 2022,” he commented.
“I think what you did see last year was a fantastic competition from the first race to the last race. I think that’s been a key part of Formula 1’s revival in popularity. It has been that competition, and so certainly we hope that there’s going to be an equally exciting year, although ideally a little less exciting at times.
“I think there could be some other competitors joining that battle as well. So particularly with a clean sheet of paper, with these brand new cars, it’s a complete reset.
“It’s arguably the biggest regulation change in the last 40 years, but I’m sure the intensity of rivalry between the teams and the drivers will be as pertinent as ever.”