Mercedes says Toto Wolff was misquoted after he appeared to accuse McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown of “spreading s***”.
Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Brown stated his belief that Mercedes would have a driver line-up of Max Verstappen and George Russell in 2022, in part due to the clauses in Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull. He was again asked about it during a team principals’ press conference alongside Wolff and Christian Horner and stood by his comments, while Wolff at the time said: “I want to keep out of the discussion that these two have, about who’s going to drive the Mercedes.”
Horner responded that it was too early for speculation, but when Wolff was asked about Brown’s comments in an interview with Osterreich following the opening race weekend, the German translation that was widely circulated claimed his reply was: “Brown is like Christian Horner. They just spread s***. I think Zak wanted to give Christian one with it. I don’t care.”
While the translation could be interpreted as a criticism of his fellow team principals — especially Brown, who is now a Mercedes customer following McLaren’s switch from Renault power over the winter — Mercedes insists Wolff was misquoted.
“He said Zak and Christian were giving each other s*** – not that they spread s***,” a Mercedes team spokesperson said.