Horner called rivals who call for punishments “appalling” and claimed that the children of Red Bull employees are being bullied in school playgrounds over the accusations.

Red Bull and the FIA have reportedly agreed a penalty for the team’s breach of the 2021 F1 cost cap, according to Auto Motor Sport, but will delay announcing the result out of respect for Dietrich Mateschitz, the Red Bull founder who died on Saturday.

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Mercedes team principal Wolff, speaking to Sky Germany before news of Mateshitz’s passing, reacted to Horner’s claims over the cost cap breach: "I almost had to put out a tear when I heard that.

"The fact is that nine out of 10 teams have remained below the cost cap. 

“The fact is that one team argues that they slipped over with supposed non-performance issues, but they also apply to all of us.” 

One of the reasons reported for Red Bull’s “minor” breach of the $145m cap was free staff lunch at their Milton Keynes headquarters.

“We also thought about how many sandwiches we give people and how we deal with other cost blocks," Wolff mocked. 

"Whatever they're over with, whether it's a million, two or five, I don't know, it's a monetary advantage that can be translated into development." 

Horner had categorically denied that Red Bull’s minor breach of the cost cap gave the team an on-track advantage in the season where Max Verstappen won the title by pipping Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Wolff accused Horner of “reverse psychology” by framing Red Bull as the victims.

The Mercedes boss said “the nine teams” who stayed within budget were the true victims of this issue.

Footage emerged on Saturday at the F1 United States Grand Prix of Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez being heckled by fans over the cost cap saga.

Wolff said that this fan behaviour was not acceptable: "That's not possible at all. The booing on the podium or at fan forums is an escalation, nobody wants to see that. 

“This must not happen. 

“We have to try to get our fans on track. We fight and off the track. But we don't have such animosities against each other."