Horner criticises Wolff for Jos Verstappen call


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has criticised Mercedes chief Toto Wolff for calling the father of Max Verstappen ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old's driving style has caused controversy this season, with a number of complaints from his fellow drivers leading to new regulations relating to changing direction under braking.

Verstappen made contact with championship leader Nico Rosberg - who will claim the drivers' title with victory this weekend - at the start of the previous event in Mexico.

Horner was not impressed to hear Wolff had spoken to the Dutchman's father, Jos, himself a former Formula One driver, before the race in Interlagos.

"Jos told me when he got here on Thursday and I was just a bit surprised that Toto was calling another driver's father from another team," said Horner to Sky Sports.

"I think Jos was a bit surprised when he put the phone down to Toto that not only was he commenting on behalf of Mercedes, but Ferrari as well that the way Max was conducting himself wasn't winning him any favours and he should wind his neck in.

"I've not heard of a team principal calling up other driver's fathers before, but obviously Toto felt the need to do so.

"I think it is total rubbish. If Toto wants to have a race for his drivers we can do that at 11am then we can have the grand prix at 2pm where everybody can race.

"It is not like Max is a backmarker, both Max and Daniel [Ricciardo] are going to be doing the best they can for the best result they can.

"Of course there is a world championship battle going on, but that is between those relevant drivers and our interest is to the best we can in this race as in any other."

However, Wolff denied he had provided a warning on behalf of Mercedes and Ferrari over Max Verstappen's style, insisting he was trying to look out for the teenager as well as his own drivers.

"Jos and I talk regularly and he knows that I'm a fan of Max. My main message for Jos was that he should come to races again because he seems to be the only guy Max really listens to and respects," he said.

"And I also said to him that it would be bad for Max if he was remembered for deciding the world championship through a reckless move against one of our drivers.

"Everybody wants to see hard racing but, for the sake of Max and of our boys, an all-in move that could ultimately kill their championship aspirations is too much."