Christian Horner ACCUSES Mercedes and Ferrari of ‘hugely defamatory’ claims amid budget leak rumours
Christian Horner CHARGES Mercedes and Ferrari of using ‘fictional’ and ‘hugely defamatory’ claims to derail Max Verstappen’s world championship shot…
- Christian Horner has responded to claims his side has broken the FIA limit
- All teams in the paddock must meet the £114 million budget cap
- However, a leaked report suggested that two sides were not adhering to the regulations
- The two supposedly guilty outfits are the Red Bull team of Aston Martin and Horner
- Adviser Helmut Marko claimed the report damaged their reputation
- Toto Wolff suggested Horner talk to his financial advisor more often
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner came out fighting in Singapore, accusing Mercedes of making ‘underhand’ and ‘fictional’ claims designed to distract Max Verstappen’s quest for a second title.
Mercedes has accused their rivals of breaching the budget cap last year, a violation which, if proven, could affect the results of the 2021 world championship, 10 months after Verstappen dramatically took Lewis Hamilton to the crown in Abu Dhabi.
But in a blistering defense, Horner hit back, defending his team’s spending as legal and accusing a BBC reporter of lack of impartiality.
Christian Horner has accused rivals Mercedes and Ferrari of derailing Max Verstappen’s bid to win the world championship in Singapore
Ahead of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, where Verstappen could complete his serenely successful title defense if results fall his way, Horner said: “We were a little surprised by the comments from our two rival teams (Mercedes and Ferrari). The submissions between the team and the FIA are confidential and I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submissions will be so I would like to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims comes from.
“They are extremely defamatory. You can only assume that it is no coincidence that this comes at a time when Max has his first battle at the world championship. How on earth do they get this information and knowledge?
“The FIA has stated that they have not completed their process, so unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements we will take it incredibly seriously and look at the options available because it is absolutely unacceptable to make the comments made. yesterday, which are completely libelous to the team, the brands and Formula 1.
Horner’s side accused in leaked report of violating FIA’s £114m spending cap
Helmut Marko (center) previously suggested the allegations damaged their reputation
“Again, what is totally unacceptable is that teams that are not a party to any kind of submission, making claims about our submission and potential penalties is just not okay.”
The FIA will assess on Wednesday whether Red Bull has exceeded the £114m spending cap, when they complete the audit process to which all teams are subject, as part of a process that has been delayed from the original June end date.
“We made the entry in March and we are 100 percent behind the entry that we are under the limit,” Horner said. “That has to be signed off by your auditors and it goes through a process with the FIA.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had a dig at his rival and suggested he talk to his financial adviser
“There are questions and interpretations that are being raised and discussed and that process is ongoing. We await the final result with interest, but we are confident that we have met the limit.’
Horner was ‘overwhelmed’ by suggestions from Mattia Binotto’s Ferrari
A BBC reporter asked why Horner made the counter-accusations when his rivals had not mentioned Red Bull.
Horner replied: “They were very clear in naming Red Bull, so if you refer to allegations I make, the allegations were actually theirs.
“I know you have a penchant for certain teams, but it has to be absolutely neutral.
“The facts are such that the entry was made to the FIA and it is a private entry, so how on earth can a team know the details of our entry and if we are in violation?
“We don’t know if we are in violation and we won’t know until next week when the trial is complete. So maybe people in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing rocks when these accusations are made.
Marko echoed Horner’s claims that Red Bull is innocent of any alleged wrongdoing
“Is it a coincidence that Max has his first chance to win the title and that we are not talking about cost limits here rather than the phenomenal performance he has delivered this year. this year, and when reference is made to last year, this year, next year, we’re going to take it very seriously. This is an issue for the FIA to resolve one so Red Bull can consider what our position is.”
On how Red Bull has tried to meet the limit that first entered Formula 1 last year, Horner added: “I hear other teams say up to 40 people have been laid off. We have made over 90 people redundant.
“We live and breathe the cost cap every day and every decision we make. It’s a huge challenge and the compromises we’ve made through staffing and salary freezes are significant. The way you handle racing is very different. It’s extremely complex, and a big hearing to manage, and it’s now intertwined with all aspects of the team.”