Christian Horner admits FIA surprise after Max Verstappen success

Max Verstappen claimed 15 wins in 2022, a new record for the most victories in a single campaign.

Success appears to have come at a price for Red Bull, with the Austrians having been forced to pay an extraordinary amount following their domination of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.

Red Bull’s first crown since 2013 came in superior fashion, with the Milton Keynes-based outfit having accumulated 759 points in 2022.

This is largely thanks to Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez having won 17 races between them, with the Dutchman having been responsible for 15 of them.

With all of that in mind, Red Bull will have to pay the FIA a huge entry fee for 2023, with a team’s entry fee being determined by $617,687 plus $7,411 per point scored in 2022.

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It means Red Bull’s entry fee for 2023 will be $6.24 million, meaning the FIA will receive just over $13 million from the Austrians, with the team having also been fined $7 million this year for breaching the 2021 budget cap.

Reflecting on the huge sum, Red Bull boss Christian Horner joked that the fee was “incredible” to discover, and certainly not in a good way!

“I didn’t realise how much we had to pay the FIA for the points. I got the bill the other day, it was incredible,” Horner joked.

Due to a clause in Verstappen’s and Checo’s contracts, the team will also have to pay their driver entry fee for 2023, with Verstappen’s alone being virtually $1 million.

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This comes as a result of Verstappen’s imperious 2022 campaign, where he broke the records for most wins and most points scored in a season.

Looking back on his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship, the 25-year-old admitted that his 2022 crown is “better and more rewarding” than his maiden title from 2021. But that it isn’t as “emotional”.

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“Your whole life you aim for one particular goal, and that’s to become a world champion — for me in Formula 1 — so the first one is always very emotional once you achieve it,” Verstappen told reporters.

“This year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year, and also more enjoyable with the way we were performing as a whole team.

“We won the drivers’ (title), and the constructors’, we had a lot of victories as a team, so I would say this one is better and more rewarding. But the first one will always be more emotional.”