Red Bull team principal says that his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff has a very different approach to his role from other bosses when it comes to the inevitable in-season mind games.
The two teams were locked in head-to-head combat throughout the 2021 season, with Mercedes emerging with their eighth constructors championship while Red Bull's Max Verstappen too his first drivers title.
As the battle went on, tensions between the two teams escalated off-track as well as on, with the two team bosses frequently clashing in media comments and at press conferences.
The situation came to a climax in Abu Dhabi with Wolff furious by the way the outcome of the race and the season was decided by controversial decisions by race control and both men accused of applying undue pressure on race director Michael Masi.
That wasn't the case when Red Bull won back-to-back titles between 2010 and 2013, with Horner remembering that there was little friction between himself and and then-Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
Horner feels that it's Wolff who is accountable for the difference in approaches.
“When we were fighting Sebastian Vettel against Fernando Alonso for the World Championship, Stefano Domenicali was the team boss of Ferrari," he told Formule 1 magazine.
“At the time, the competition was of a different, let’s say, ‘gentleman’s level’," Horner suggested. "[But] last year was intense both on and off the track.
"Toto plays it differently, he’s a different kind of animal," he added.
While Horner also engaged in the clashes, he admitted that he didn't much enjoy that aspect of the modern sport.
“Do I like it? No. Is it part of the sport? Yes,” he accepted. “I don’t know if I’m good at it.
"But I have a great love for the sport," he added. "I grew up in this industry and I think what you do on the track is the most important thing that matters.”