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

Max Verstappen won the Drivers' Championship last season, but Red Bull's financial breach has potentially jeopardised it.

Fans have suggested that there is no point threatening to take points away from Red Bull’s tally last season after some comments from Christian Horner resurfaced.

All 10 teams had a $145 million budget limit imposed on them last season, in the first set of financial regulations in Formula 1.

They were asked to document all of their spending for submission to the FIA, who have been spending the last few months reviewing the figures.

Those calculations were set to be finished last week, but the final verdict was pushed back to the start of this week, when Red Bull were found guilty of a minor overspend.

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The Austrian team have refuted this, asserting that they stayed within the budget limit, while Aston Martin, who were found in procedural breach of the rules, are yet to make a comment.

Max Verstappen won the Drivers’ Championship in 2021, beating Sir Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic season finale in Abu Dhabi in December.

There was already controversy behind that result due to the bizarre Safety Car restart by race director, Michael Masi, and the cashgate saga has added to the outrage from Mercedes’ fans.

One of the punishments for a minor breach of the rules is a deduction of constructors’ points, and despite Verstappen’s victory, Red Bull finished second to Mercedes in the teams’ battle.

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Indeed, after smartly deploying Sergio Perez to play an influential role in his team-mate’s success, Horner affirmed that he values the individual title more.

“The constructors’ is where the money is, that is where the revenues that come into the sport are distributed, based on your performance in the championship,” he explained, per Autosport.

“I think every employee within our team, and probably in most of the teams, is rewarded on where they are in the constructors’ championship, as opposed to the drivers’.

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“But the drivers’ obviously has the popularity and it has the prestige. I don’t think there’s a single employee within our business that would have traded the first place in the constructors’ for this Drivers’ Championship.”

On the back of those remarks, fans have suggested that it should be Verstappen himself, and not the team, that should face a points deduction last year.

Verstappen sealed his second consecutive title with victory at last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.