Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is not pleased with what, in his view, is “defamatory” and “unacceptable” comments from Mercedes and Ferrari in particular about an alleged exceeding of the budget cap. He lashed out at the rival teams in a press conference at the Singapore Grand Prix. “If they don’t retract their comments, we will certainly see if we can take legal action. It is absolutely unacceptable to make such comments and it is defamatory to our team.”
At the Marina Bay circuit on Friday, the news broke that two teams spent more than the maximum allowable $145 million in 2021 to develop and improve the cars during the year. It would be Red Bull, the team of world champion Max Verstappen, and Aston Martin. At Red Bull, there would be a significant excess.
Team principal Toto Wolff of the Formula 1 team Mercedes and assistant team principal Laurent Mekies of Ferrari called on the international motorsport federation FIA to take strong action against the teams that have exceeded the 2021 budget cap. Wolff did not name Red Bull by name, but did say it is “an open secret in the paddock that there is one team that has really gone over budget”.
“That cost cap is one of the most important rules that has been introduced to create a fairer playing field. It is very important that these rules are complied with,” said Wolff. “It seems to me that FIA chairman Mohammed Bin Sulayem must now show leadership and integrity.”
Horner said he was baffled by the allegations. “It is a private submission of financial figures to the FIA. How the hell can another team know the details of our submission? How can a team know if we are in violation? We don’t even know if we are in violation ourselves. We won’t know until next week, when the process is complete.”
According to the Brit, it is no coincidence that the possible budget overruns come out when Verstappen can conquer his second world title. “It’s a devious tactic to cover up their lack of track performance. We’re talking about cost, rather than the phenomenal performance Max has delivered this year.”
The FIA said in a brief statement that it is finalizing the financial data submitted by the teams for 2021. “Any violations will be dealt with according to the formal procedures set out in the regulations,” said the FIA, which did not address the allegations against Red Bull and Aston Martin.
Source: RTL Nieuws by www.rtlnieuws.nl.
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