Horner and Wolff dismiss 'breakaway' championship threat

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Christian Horner and Toto Wolff both believe that there is no risk of Ferrari leaving Formula 1 and setting up a new championship to rival Formula 1.

The prospect was raised at the weekend by the sport's former CEO Bernie Ecclestone. But Horner insisted that he couldn't imagine it actually happening.

"Bernie knows every time the Concorde came up for renewal there was talk of a different series," the Red Bull team principal told Sky Sports.

"Since my involvement over the past 14 years, every time it's up for renewal, bang there is another series mooted.

"It hasn't happened yet and I don't think it's going to happen at the moment," Horner continued. "Formula 1 is and will be the pinnacle of motorsport."

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly warned that his team might quit F1 over the plans new owners Liberty Media have proposed for the sport's technical direction after 2021.

Horner did voice concerns that Mercedes might be moving towards Ferrari's point of view on the issue.

"For the last couple of years there has been a very tight relationship between Ferrari and Mercedes," he said. "Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which.

"Mercedes and Ferrari are working as one team these days," he added. "They even broadcast each other's launches and things like that these days!

Mercedes boss Wolff had previously told Sky Sports that he could see some truth in Marchionne's recent criticism.

"Most of the things Sergio says make absolute sense to me," he said. "And this overlays with our position."

However he denied that the Silver Arrows would be interested in a Ferrari-led rival championship.

"We are committed to Formula 1," said Wolff. "This is our joint-platform and we all benefit if it is running well.

"We are critical on some of the things because we want Formula 1 to do well," he continued. "We invest a lot in this platform. It's a major global sport that has grown over the years and we feel responsible."

"This is what we are concentrating on," he continued. "Giving the management of Formula 1 and the FIA the utmost support to solve the problems. To make it great, improve the show.

"This must be our clear number one priority."

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