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Christian Horner

Horner hits back at Mercedes and Ferrari after accusations

Following accusations from Ferrari and Mercedes that Red Bull breached F1's budget cap in 2021, Christian Horner has angrily criticised his rivals' comments.

Horner Singapore
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Christian Horner has hit back at "unacceptable" accusations from other F1 teams that Red Bull have breached the sport's budget cap.

Both Red Bull and Aston Martin are rumoured to have broken the $145 million cost cap set for teams for the 2021 season, with the FIA set to reveal each teams' finances in the coming weeks after audits.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has called any breach of the Formula 1 cost cap regulations a "heavyweight" offence, while Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies has said there should be "far-reaching consequences" for any team that breaches it.

Horner had said after FP1 that he was not aware of any potential breaches of the cost cap, and doubled down on his position before qualifying on Saturday, criticising the nature of the comments made by Wolff and Mekies, and calling on them to retract their accusations.

"We were a little bit taken aback by comments that were coming from two of our rival teams yesterday," said Horner.

"The submission between the team and the FIA is one that is confidential. I have no idea what the outcome of rivals' submissions are, so I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from, and they're hugely inflammatory.

"The FIA have been insistent they haven't even completed their process, so unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at all the options available to us.

"It is absolutely not acceptable to be making the comments that were made yesterday. It is totally inflammatory to the team, the fans and to F1, and I would be intrigued to know where their source of information has come from."

Horner - Accusations masking poor performances

Horner added that the accusations from Mercedes and Ferrari were also a smokescreen to detract from those teams' below-par performances this season, in which Red Bull and Max Verstappen have often been the class of the field and look set to win both championships.

"We take umbrage, and extremely seriously, the remarks that have been made, because is it any coincidence that Max has his first shot at winning the world title [at the Singapore Grand Prix]?" added Horner.

"And here we are talking about cost caps, rather than the phenomenal performance that he has had this year, and I think it's an underhand tactic that has been employed to detract from a lack of performance on track this year.

"So and of course when references are made last year, this year next year, we're going to take that extremely seriously, so this is an issue for the FIA to deal with, and also an issue for Red Bull to consider what our position is when those comments are made.

"How can any team know the detail of our submission? How on earth can any team know that a team is in breach? We don’t even know until next week until the process has been completed. So perhaps when these accusations are made, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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