Christian Horner’s silence since FIA verdict raises eyebrows

Red Bull and Aston Martin have both been found in breach of last year's financial regulations.

Fans are noticing that Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has been conspicuous in his absence since the FIA’s verdict that the team broke the financial regulations last season.

The teams were given a cap of $145 million within which to operate in 2021, and development on the 2022 car was counted within that.

As is customary when new regulations are brought in, there are always loopholes for the teams to exploit, and is has been reported that Red Bull did just that.

A recent report suggested that they listed chief designer, Adrian Newey as a contractor, so that they could leave him out of their list of expenditures.

READ: Christian Horner urged to copy Toto Wolff amid Cashgate saga

They would have done this because he is not one of their top three earners, although it must be stressed that these are rumours and unconfirmed.

Nonetheless, on Monday, the FIA found the Milton Keynes-based team to be in breach of the financial regulations, having gone over by less than five percent.

This puts them in minor breach of the rules, but because they have spent less than $152.25 million, they will likely receive a fine.

Key figures in the sport though, such as Sir Lewis Hamilton and Martin Brundle, have pointed out that an overspend of even a few hundred thousand can go a long way.

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Red Bull released a statement shortly after the announcement from the FIA, stating that they are “surprised” at the outcome, because they believe they followed protocol.

The Austrian side have been deciding on their next steps over the last few days, and there has as yet been no public comment from Horner.

READ: FIA implored to strip Max Verstappen of 2021 title as Red Bull admission surfaces

This has been pointed out by fans, one of whom stated that the 48-year-old was very quick to shut down Toto Wolff after the Mercedes boss criticised Red Bull.

Horner was even thought to be considering legal action against those who have accused him and his team of overspending, and with Newey’s potential contractual situation, this storm is not going anywhere any time soon.

Aston Martin have themselves been found in procedural breach of the financial regulations, and they have not responded to a request for comment on the matter.