Mercedes and Red Bull have been locked in a three-part battle for most of the past few months in Formula 1, with Hamilton’s on-track rivalry with Max Verstappen being the most notable aspect. The Dutchman still leads the championship fight ahead of the last two races of the season, while Mercedes only lead the constructors’ standings by five points.
More frequently in recent times, however, the two team leaders have been making fun of each other in the media, while their Horner and Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff has repeatedly targeted in interviews and press conferences.
In such a discussion with The telegraph This week, Horner reiterated that social media evidence indicated Mercedes was using components that were a “clear violation” of regulations – something Hamilton denies and does not want to participate in the title fight.
“We all have egos and that’s what controls our emotions and it’s the egos that fight each other,” he said.
“There is defense, there is respect. But what’s important… I’ve seen someone say something about cheating and it’s the worst claim to ever make.
” I called [Mercedes senior engineers] James Allison and Mike Elliott and said “I really want to know more about these things” and they explained to me in detail where we are at. We’ve done all of these tests and it’s here. But I don’t like it when people put it out. I don’t think we have exploited a loophole. They [Red Bull] did at the start of the year with their kite and then they changed that rule and now it’s a lot stricter and the kite can’t do anything.
« [The title fight] is not tarnished, it [alleging cheating] is simply the wrong thing to do.
Formula 1 travel to Jeddah this weekend, with Hamilton looking to regain eight points between himself and Verstappen in the final two weeks of racing.