The Formula 1 paddock has been in disarray for a number of weeks now with Red Bull’s breach of the 2021 budget cap being hot on the lips of everyone involved in the sport.
Toto Wolff and Guenther Steiner have called for the threshold for a major breach to be lowered in recent weeks, amongst concerns that the supposed punishment will fail to withhold the integrity of rules.
Red Bull are deemed to be within a minor breach, meaning that upon agreeing terms with the FIA, they are likely to get away with a fine or sporting penalty, rather than the loss of championship points that many have appealed for.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has been very outspoken in the week, penning a letter to the FIA, accusing the Milton Keynes based team of ‘cheating’ and pleading for the FIA to take an appropriate penalty on the ‘cheats’.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who is usually known for his dry humour and argued arrogance, has given a heartfelt interview about the impact of the persistent public accusations.
“Numbers have been put out in the media that are miles out of reality,” he claimed.
“It’s absolutely shocking that another competitor without the facts, without any knowledge of the details, can be making that kind of accusation.
“You cannot go round just making that kind of allegation without any fact or substance, so we are absolutely appalled at the behaviour of some of out competitors,“ he continued.
Former Dutch racing driver Allard Kalff recently claimed that the accusations themselves are as much of a scandal as the budget cap breach itself, with the information somehow leaking out of the FIA weeks before any official statement.
Horner has now urged Red Bull’s competitors to think about the impact of what they’re saying, as it’s not just the team that they are affecting.
“The damage that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce.
“You know, in an age where mental health is prevalent, we’re seeing significant issues in our workforce.
“We’re getting kids that are being bullied in playground that are employees’ children,” he said about the cheating accusations.
With the FIA still yet to announce the details of the breach and it’s punishment, speculation runs rife within the paddock.
Red Bull and the FIA are expected to release their decision this weekend, with the FIA offering their terms for a punishment, which if rejected by Red Bull, will have to go to a panel of adjudicators.