Christian Horner demands ‘clear withdrawal’ from Mercedes and Ferrari bosses

Red Bull have been accused of breaking the financial regulations last season.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, had what appeared to be a relatively spicy exchange with Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto, before the Singapore Grand Prix.

This come after the Italian also reportedly got into a row with Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, in Canada while the teams were discussing a change to the technical regulations.

This time, the debate revolves around the financial rules that were introduced at the start of last season, and Binotto has been saying for months that he wants the FIA to keep a close eye on everyone’s spending.

Red Bull and Aston Martin were mentioned in a recent report by Auto Motor und Sport that suggests they both went over the spending cap in 2021.

READ: Cashgate: Toto Wolff reacts to Christian Horner threatening legal action

The Austrian side are accused of spending $155 million, which is $10 million over the limit.

Red Bull have refuted this, but Wolff suggested ahead of last weekend that his rivals have been under investigation for several months.

One of the punishments for a material overspend, which is anything more than five percent, could be an exclusion from the championship.

Therefore, if found guilty, it is mildly possible that Max Verstappen’s 2021 success could be reversed in the favour of Sir Lewis Hamilton.

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During the weekend in Singapore, Formula 1 journalist, Giuliano Duchessa, saw what appeared to be a confrontation between Horner and Binotto.

Ferrari race director, Laurent Mekies, wants to see Red Bull punished if it transpires that they have broken the rules.

“It’s now no secret that two teams broke the 2021 budget cap regulations, one by a significant amount, the other less so,” he said in a press conference.

“We regard this as something very serious and we expect the FIA to manage the situation in exemplary fashion, we trust the FIA 100 percent. 

“They have taken a very strong position in recent weeks and months on other issues, therefore we expect that, for such a serious matter, there will be complete transparency and maximum penalties to ensure we are all racing within the same rules, because their impact on car performance is huge.”

Red Bull adviser, Dr Helmut Marko, indicated that Shaila-Ann Rao, who used to be Wolff’s lawyer but now works in the FIA, has been colluding with the Austrian and feeding him inside information.

Horner is considering legal action against his rivals for what he feels are defamatory comments, and he has no idea how anyone can know about a breach of regulations if the FIA have not yet finished looking over everyone’s documentation.

“How on earth do they have this information? Where do they have this knowledge? The FIA have even stated they haven’t even completed their process,” he said.

READ: Secret Mattia Binotto and Toto Wolff meeting sparks collusion against Red Bull claim

“So unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at what the options available to us are. 

“It’s absolutely unacceptable to be making comments of the type that were made yesterday that are totally defamatory to the team, to the brands and even to Formula 1.”

The FIA is expected to hand out certificates of compliance to teams that stayed within the budget cap later this week.