Christian Horner admitted Red Bull would breach the budget cap

Red Bull were found guilty of a minor breach of the financial regulations on Monday.

Some peculiar comments made by Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, have resurfaced amid the team’s involvement in a breach of the financial regulations.

Back in 2019, the FIA ratified a new set of financial regulations that had been unofficially tried before, with little success.

It had previously been a “gentleman’s agreement” that teams would stick to a certain level of spending, but according to Formula 1 managing director, Ross Brawn, there is a distinct lack of “gentlemen” in the paddock.

The teams signed off on the regulations that were set to be imposed on them, and the cap was initially set at $175 million.

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This was reduced to $145 million when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, delaying the new technical regulations for another year.

The first budget cap was implemented last season, with teams required to document their spending and submit their files to the FIA in a timely manner.

Williams were late with their submission, so were fined in June, and it later emerged that Red Bull and Aston Martin might have gone over the limit.

Since then, the governing body has confirmed that the British side committed only a procedural breach, while Red Bull overspent by less than five percent, constituting a minor contravention.

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It therefore means that Max Verstappen will likely not be excluded from last year’s championship, although a points deduction is still possible.

However, a fine will probably suffice, with the four-time champions thought to have gone over by $2 million. 

In 2020, Horner indicated that he was expecting all of the teams to go over by more than $7.25 million – the threshold for a material breach.

“Money is a hot topic among F1 teams right now,” he reportedly said.

“The problem is, so much is made about the figure of the cost cap that I believe it is missing the point.

“F1 teams will always spend whatever budget they have available to them, plus an extra 10 percent.

“It is impossible to compare the spending of Ferrari to Haas, of Mercedes to Racing Point or even from Red Bull to AlphaTauri. They are all completely different structures and business models.”

The Briton then suggested other ways of helping the smaller teams compete with the big sharks, as the point of the budget cap is to stop the bigger teams from using resources those further down the food chain simply do not have.

“If the main target of a cost cap is about being competitive and helping the smaller teams, especially as we come through the current crisis, then I would be fully open to selling our cars at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi,” added Horner.

“Some people say that customer cars are against F1’s DNA to design and build your own car, well times have changed and we need to find the best way to make the smaller teams competitive and survive the current crisis. 

“This approach works well in MotoGP and it could even attract more teams to the grid, which we would all welcome.

“Teams spend fortunes over winter copying others, why not just give them the opportunity to buy last year’s car?

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“It would make far more sense for a team to be competitive, rather than spending money developing something if the funds are not there to do so. 

“As the business model of the smaller teams evolves and they become more competitive with customer cars, they can bring in increased revenue and then look to build their own cars again.”

Red Bull have denied breaking any rules last year, after Horner threatened legal action against rivals who had accused his team of any wrongdoing.