Christian Horner breaks silence on budget cap breach with surprising claim

Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull haven't breached the 2022 budget cap.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that the Austrians ended last season “several million” below the budget cap, following some concerning rumours.

Ahead of last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix – which was won by Max Verstappen – a rumour began to circulate that three teams have exceeded the 2022 budget cap.

It’s getting to that time of the season again when the FIA will reveal who complied with the budget cap and who didn’t, with the governing body having almost finished investigating all 10 financial submissions made.

Until 2025 when the current regulations come to end, each team has $135 million to spend per season, a figure they must not exceed.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

As Red Bull found out, exceeding the cap results in a penalty, something the side were slapped with last season.

Red Bull were fined $7 million and had 10% of their allotted wind tunnel time taken away for 12 months, for breaching the 2021 cap which sat at $140 million.

With the new rumours that three teams have breached the 2022 cap, Horner has quickly spoken out to insist that Red Bull have been “very disciplined” to not exceed the cap for a second consecutive season.

Horner insists that the team saved “several million” last season because Verstappen and Sergio Perez rarely crashed.

Article continues below

“Last year, Max [Verstappen] damaged one front wing and Checo [Perez] had a crash in Montreal, and again we had a very limited amount of development on the car,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“So we were several million below the cap last year, and because accident damage and development – they’re huge costs.

“Obviously this year, the biggest handicap we have is that lack of wind tunnel time, it’s significantly less runs in a week than any of our competitors, so we have to be very disciplined on where we focus our development.”

If Red Bull are one of the rumoured teams, then the side will likely be punished by the FIA harder than the other guilty parties, given that they’d be repeat offenders.

This would likely please a lot of the paddock, who feel that the FIA didn’t punish Red Bull hard enough for their 2021 breach.

READ: Haas don’t want to offer Kevin Magnussen a new contract

Horner disagrees with this view and insists that what the FIA did was actually very harsh, especially in regard to the reduction in their wind tunnel time.

“Believe me the lack of wind tunnel time we have compared to our competitors is a massive compromise. If wind tunnels don’t count, why don’t we get rid of them?” questioned Horner

“It’s easy to throw shade when you’re not performing. It’s one of the things in F1 that will always continue to happen. I’m just incredibly proud of the job that our team is doing with the constraints and handicap we have, to be performing at the level we have this year.”