Toto Wolff accused of having ‘love affair’ with F1 boss by Red Bull chief Helmut Marko

Helmut Marko has joked that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is having a ‘love affair’ with Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur after neither came out in public support of Red Bull’s criticism of the new technical regulations.

 

 

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The new era of F1 engines, which come into effect in 2026, will be made up of V6 hybrid power units with the change central to the sport’s hopes of achieving carbon neutrality before their self-imposed 2030 deadline. These plans will also help to attract new engine suppliers into F1.

 

As of the 2023 campaign, only four engine suppliers exist in F1 with Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull Powertrains making up the current crop. In 2026, Audi will be joining the ranks, while Honda, who most recently supplied Red Bull, are returning to the sport in an exclusive deal with Aston Martin. 

 

Speaking to Marko joked: “Vasseur is continuing his love affair with Toto. Therefore there is little resonance at Ferrari.” The Red Bull advisor also had some harsh words for the organisation at Alpine, stating: “At Renault, they don’t know what they’re doing.”

 

Marko was realistic in realising that Red Bull currently have no support in the power unit sphere when it comes to opposing the 2026 regulations, explaining: “We don’t have any allies yet, and that’s not because we can’t get it under control.”

 

Red Bull’s opposition to the changes has been seen by some in the F1 paddock as a distraction technique following reports that the Red Bull Powertrains project was down on power relative to their rivals. 

 

Mercedes team principal Wolff claimed that Christian Horner was angling for changes to the regulations because of his own team’s struggles, but told Sky Sports: “That’s not going to happen, zero chance, capital letters.

 

“I think what frightens him more maybe is that his engine programme is not coming along and that maybe he wants to kill it that way. So you always have to question what’s the real motivation to say something like that.”

 

Horner has since insisted that Red Bull’s opposition to the regulations comes from a place of love for the sport with the team simply wanting the best for the fans and the viewing experience, although this debate will continue to rage on as the engine suppliers continue their development. 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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