Friday, 14 september 2018, 12:12 , by Matthew Scott
Christian Horner says Toto Wolff's anger over Esteban Ocon's likely absence from the grid in 2019 could be easily fixed if the Mercedes chief puts his hand in his pocket. Wolff fumed at rival teams on Friday after Ocon saw a pair of 2019 deals fall through, which is set to leave him without a drive.
With Daniel Ricciardo moving to Renault and Lance Stroll likely to take a seat at Force India, only Williams remains as a likely destination for Ocon next year – and Robert Kubica is in pole position to partner Sergey Sirotkin at the Grove squad.
Wolff lashed out at "politics, hidden agendas and lies", saying the likes of Renault did not "have the balls" to stick to their agreement with Ocon.
Red Bull have benefitted from having Toro Rosso on the grid over the years and Horner says Mercedes should speculate in order to accumulate.
"We've invested in the team. If Toto writes a cheque I'm sure he can get a seat in Williams, " Horner told Sky Sports.
"There's three super talented kids, certainly two very strong ones I think, and Ocon would be great to see in Formula 1 and George Russell.
"Toto might have to cut them free at the end of the day because it's a shame to see those guys not get a Formula One seat, just because of who they're contracted to."
Red Bull have stuck to their guns in promoting young drivers in recent years. Each appointment since Sebastian Vettel's in 2009 has been from Toro Rosso, with Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and now Pierre Gasly benefitting.
"It's the only real way," Horner added. "We've made that commitment, we've made that investment, and it paid dividends with Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly coming through.
"I think the problem that Toto's got at the moment is that he's got talented drivers but there isn't a seat. That's going to be a real problem for those guys going into next year."