Prominent F1 Journalist Mentions How Niki Lauda Prevented ‘B*tch Fight’ Between Red Bull & Mercedes

Published 10/21/2021, 9:51 AM EDT
PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT, LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – 2018/06/23: Austrian former Formula One driver and a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion Niki Lauda, non-executive chairman of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, in the paddock during the Grand Prix de France. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Red Bull and Mercedes are involved in a championship fight that will, in all probability, go down to the wire in this season. The fight has been intense, not only on the track but off it as well. Both team bosses have not shied away from throwing shades and blame towards each other. But F1 Journalist Plooij believes that if Niki Lauda had been alive, the teams would not clash.

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Plooij mentioned that the Austrian world champion acted as a peacemaker between the teams. He also stated that he had friendly relations with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko as well.

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I think Niki Lauda is missed at Mercedes: Plooij 

As reported by PlanetF1, the three-time world champion was the advisor in Mercedes before his death in 2019. Plooij mentioned that Lauda would have lunch with Marko every day and try to avoid clashes with the team bosses.

“I think Niki Lauda is missed at Mercedes. Niki had lunch with Helmut Marko every day. I think a lot of fires were put out there. Maybe we never saw those arise, but now we do. I think Niki would have given Helmut the order: ‘Keep Horner in his box for a while, then I’ll do it with Toto,” said Plooij.

MONZA, ITALY: Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda talks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff in the Pitlane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Dutch journalist mentioned how the dynamic between the teams has changed since the passing of Lauda.

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“I think there are reasons why this happens. But I’m not used to it from Toto Wolff. He’s usually a bit political and calm: ‘We’ll sort it out. But now it has become a bit of a b*tch fight between Horner and Toto,” said the journalist.

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He also stated that he has also noticed a change in the approach of Horner this season. “The amazing thing is Christian Horner’s behavior towards Toto Wolff.

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“I think the Dutch fans like it, show your nails, scratch Wolff’s back. So I think the fans liked it. But for us, it was a surprise. Because Horner is always kind of dignified, neat, English.” concluded Plooij.

In an intense battle, emotions get the better of everyone, but it is important for both teams to keep it civil.

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Devang Chauhan

567 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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