Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend, there were a number of outlets reporting that Red Bull (and Aston Martin) had breached the cost cap regulations for last season.
The topic has dominated the media headlines, particularly after the FIA delayed the publication of its compliance certificates until Monday.
According to Sky Sports, any breach from Red Bull or McLaren is understood to be a “minor” breach.
Horner believes the “noise” about the cost cap is being used to detract from Verstappen’s likely triumph this weekend.
“It’s a big weekend for Max,” Horner told Sky after FP2 at Suzuka. “It’s a possibility rather than a probability but it’s another match point effectively for him. That’s what we’re focused on.
“The amount of noise that's been around other topics, one can only think it’s designed to be a bit of a distraction. We’re very happy with where we are, with where our submission for the cap is and all focus is on this weekend.”
Horner insisted again that Red Bull have complied with the cost cap and they are awaiting for the FIA’s judgement on Monday.
“We were expecting the certificates as well on Wednesday, hoping for them on Wednesday but that’s obviously been delayed for all of the teams,” Horner added. “The FIA have obviously taken that choice.
“We await with interest to see what happens on Monday. Again, we feel that we’ve absolutely complied with the cost cap, with the regulations, happy with our submission and awaiting to hear what the feedback is.”
More to come from Red Bull
Horner is confident Red Bull have more pace to show after running just one set of intermediates in FP2.
Verstappen ended second practice over 0.8s off George Russell, but Horner put the gap down to Mercedes using up more tyres.
“This track is very tough on tyres,” he explained. “We only ran one set of inters in that second session. I think Mercedes ran three. I think our pace is reasonable. Difficult to draw too many conclusions because very quickly you can see the front tyres are going off around here.
“A lot of data for the guys to be looking at but on the whole, a pretty reasonable day. I think it will be interesting. Definitely taking those extra sets of tyres… particularly in the first sector there’s a big advantage on a new set here.
“Today’s times probably aren’t that representative but they’re definitely in the mix, they’re definitely looking competitive. I think Ferrari are perhaps out of position as well. I think the whole thing will concertina a bit.”