Christian Horner explains avoiding Wolff meal after drivers night out

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Christian Horner has explained why all of the F1 team principals did not go out to dinner together following the season-finale in Abu Dhabi. All 20 drivers had a night out for Sebastian Vettel’s farewell and Lewis Hamilton picked up the bill.

The Mercedes ace sat directly across from 2021 rival Max Verstappen, suggesting that their previous bad blood was over. However, the team bosses had no intention of sitting around a table together after tension boiled over during the season.

“Unfortunately the same amount of love is not shared around the team principals as the drivers,” Horner said at a Pokerstars event when asked why the team principals did not eat and drink together.

Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto ganged up on Red Bull and leaked that they had broken the cost cap in 2021. The FIA confirmed the details once their investigation was completed and hit the Milton Keynes outfit with a fine and wind tunnel penalty.

Mercedes and Ferrari pushed for harsher punishment, but Horner felt his team were already hit with a ‘draconian’ penalty.

Red Bull had both championships wrapped up with three races to go and Horner joked that Verstappen then let himself go before going out for food with his peers.

“Of course Max having won the Drivers’ Championship and Constructrors’ with a couple of races to go, they’re a bit like jockeys where they have to come in on a certain weight and we saw that weight start to creep a little, through the steak houses in Austin and the taquerias in Brazil,” Horner said.

“He will be back on weight by the time he gets back in the car in February next year.”

Horner will be hoping his team have the advantage in 2023 after bringing Daniel Ricciardo back to the team as reserve driver. The Aussie is without an F1 seat after McLaren released him due to poor form.

Ricciardo held talks with Mercedes to become Hamilton and George Russell’s backup option, but he decided to return to the manufacturer that launched his F1 career.

Christian Horner speaking at a charity poker event hosted by Oracle Red Bull Racing partners PokerStars at ORBR’s Milton Keynes base in December 2022. The event highlighted the culmination of an exciting season and the partnership continuing into 2023 with more epic PokerStars rewards and experiences for players to enjoy.

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