‘We make no apology’ - Horner demands apology from F1 rivals

Christian Horner feels Red Bull’s rivals owe his team an apology for the “reputational damage” caused by “accusations” about their F1 cost cap breach.
‘We make no apology’ - Horner demands apology from F1 rivals

The FIA announced on Friday that Red Bull have been hit with a $7m fine and a 10 percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for the next 12 months as punishment for breaking F1’s budget cap in 2021.

Red Bull were found to have exceeded the $145m cap imposed during Max Verstappen’s first title-winning campaign last year by £1.8m after the team inaccurately excluded and/or adjusted costs relating to 13 items

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Rival teams including Mercedes and Ferrari had been calling on the FIA to hand out severe penalties since the Singapore Grand Prix, when rumours of a potential breach first emerged. 

Red Bull were also left “appalled” by McLaren boss Zak Brown’s leaked letter to the FIA in which he claimed that breaking the budget cap “constitutes cheating”. 

Asked if he feels an apology from Red Bull to the rest of the F1 paddock is necessary, a defiant Horner argued it should be the other way around. 

“I think we are due an apology from some of the rivals for some of the claims that they’ve made,” Horner said during a news conference addressing the matter ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix. 

“We make no apology for the way that we’ve performed, the way that we’ve acted. We do take on the chin that there are lessons to be made. 

“Potentially mistakes have been made in our submission which with the benefit of hindsight and 20-20 vision, anyone can be a specialist. 

“But there was no intent. There was nothing dishonest and certainly no cheating, which has been alleged in certain corners. 

“I don't feel we need to apologise. I think there are lessons to be learned. Everybody can learn from this. 

“We’ve taken a very public pounding through the accusations that have been made by other teams. We've had our drivers booed at circuits.

“The reputational damage from allegations has been significant. The time is now for that to stop and move on.”

(L to R): Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA
(L to R): Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director and Christian Horner …

Referring to Red Bull’s rivals, Horner added: “They’ve obviously been quick to talk in the media, some of them. 

“I’m sure for them, it won’t be enough. I’m sure if you burnt our wind tunnel down, it wouldn’t be enough. 

“But this is a penalty, the FIA, after an awful lot of dialogue with them, they know the impact it has on us. They see the way teams operate, they see the efficiency of their runs. 

“This has a material impact on our car performance for next year.”

Despite the penalty, which Red Bull thinks could cost them up to 0.5s in on-track performance with their 2023 car, Horner insists his team are motivated to continue their recent F1 supremacy into next season and beyond. 

“What we’ve lost in ATR, we’ve gained in motivation,” he stressed. “I’ve never seen a more motivated group of individuals. 

“They’ve done an outstanding job last year and this year in a regulation change that’s probably been the biggest in 40 years. 

“We might have lost 10 percent in ATR but we’ve gained 25 percent in motivation from every staff member in Milton Keynes.” 

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