Christian Horner lashes out at Ferrari and Mercedes over ‘inflammatory’ accusations

Some reports have indicated that Red Bull may have overspent by as much as $10 million.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has suggested that rumours of a budget cap breach were designed to take away from Max Verstappen’s second world title.

The teams were given a budget limit of $145 million to work with in 2021, the first time a budget was introduced in Formula 1.

That was initially reduced to $140 million this year, but was then increased again to reflect the alarming worldwide rate of inflation.

Earlier this year, Williams were given a fine for failing to disclose their expenditure for last season, but they complied with the FIA’s investigation and admitted to their mistake, so the governing body was lenient with them.

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That went down as a procedural breach, and other contraventions can be categorised into minor or material breaches of the financial regulations.

Red Bull and Aston Martin were the two teams indicated in a recent report by Auto Motor und Sport, which suggested that the two teams both went over the budget limit in 2021.

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, indicated that Red Bull have been under investigation for months, and revealed that he had made over 40 Mercedes employees redundant to meet the demands of the cost cap.

Potential punishment for a material breach of the budget cap is exclusion from the world championship, but Horner had a robust response to the allegations levelled against his team.

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“We were a little bit taken aback by comments that were coming from two of our rival teams yesterday,” he said, quoted by

“The submission between the team and the FIA is one that is confidential, I have no idea what the outcome of rivals’ submissions are, so I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from, and they’re hugely inflammatory.

“The FIA have been insistent they haven’t even completed their process, so unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at all the options available to us.

“It is absolutely not acceptable to be making the comments that were made yesterday. It is totally inflammatory to the team, the fans and to F1, and I would be intrigued to know where their source of information has come from.”

The Briton suggested that some teams are envious of the fact that Verstappen is on the verge of earning his second consecutive championship heading into the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend.

“We take umbrage, and extremely seriously, the remarks that have been made, because is it any coincidence that Max has his first shot at winning the world title,” added Horner.

“And here we are talking about cost caps, rather than the phenomenal performance that he has had this year, and I think it’s an underhand tactic that has been employed to detract from a lack of performance on track this year.

“So and of course when references are made last year, this year next year, we’re going to take that extremely seriously, so this is an issue for the FIA to deal with, and also an issue for Red Bull to consider what our position is when those comments are made.

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“How can any team know the detail of our submission? How on earth can any team know that a team is in breach? 

“We don’t even know until next week until the process has been completed, so perhaps when these accusations are made, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

The FIA are set to hand out certificates of compliance next week, and they have labelled rumours of any cost cap discrepancies “unsubstantiated.”