Mercedes included a tour of their factory in the Autosport Awards Charity Auction – with the winning bid placed by none other than Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Red Bull and Mercedes are two of the biggest rivals in the sport’s recent history. Horner and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff have been embroiled in several controversies over recent years.
Horner stated back in November that he has “no relationship” with his counterpart. They were embroiled in a war of words after the British Grand Prix when a first-lap collision between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led Verstappen to retire.
The Brit was given a 10-second penalty by the stewards for the collision but recovered to win the race.
Horner criticised Hamilton for the incident. In addition, he called his attempted overtake up the inside “desperate” and “disappointing”. Wolff stated his belief in a press conference that the remarks made by Horner and Red Bull were “below the belt” and “a step too far”.
There was also the controversial ending to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It resulted in Verstappen overtaking Hamilton on the final lap to win the race and his first Drivers’ Championship.
Christian Horner wins Mercedes tour in charity auction
However, there may be some reconciliation between the two team principals. Speaking to Dutch magazine Formule 1, Wolff stated in January that he “really regrets” how his rivalry with Horner played out during the year. They may have an early chance to prove that things have changed this year.
At the Autosport Awards Charity Auction on Sunday, as reported by RacingNews365, Mercedes put up a tour of their Formula 1 factory in Brackley.
All proceeds from the event went to the Grand Prix Trust. According to its official website, the trust offers help, advice, and essential support to trackside and factory-based team personnel “when things go wrong”. Furthermore, its trustees include Formula 1 commentators Martin Brundle and James Allen, and former Williams engineering director Sir Patrick Head.
Horner placed a bid of £4,000 on the factory tour. That proved to be enough to win the auction.
In addition, he then joked with RacingNews365 that he wanted to take “about 20 people” from his Red Bull team.
With big changes being made to the Formula 1 rules for 2022, it will seemingly be a good opportunity for Horner to gain some insight into how Mercedes have dealt with the changes.
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