Christian Horner has slammed rival Formula 1 boss Zak Brown for his "cheating" allegations after Red Bull broke the cost cap for 2021. Red Bull are believed to have broken the budget limit of $145 million by $1.8 million after costs in four main areas pushed them over a cap the other nine teams remained within. In response, McLaren boss Brown penned a letter to the FIA, expressing that he felt a breach of the cost cap "constituted cheating". In Austin, negotiations on a settlement between Red Bull and the FIA are on-going, but while Horner did not reveal anything about the process, he blasted Brown for his recent comments.
Horner 'appalled' by cheating accusations
"It's tremendously disappointing for a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating," Horner told media including RacingNews365.com. "To accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking. "It's absolutely shocking that another competitor, without the facts [and] without any knowledge of the details, can be making that kind of accusation. "We've been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore, and the rhetoric of cheating, that we've had this enormous benefit and the numbers put out to the media are miles out of reality. "The damage that that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce, in an age where mental health is prevalent, we're seeing significant issues. "Within our workforce, we are having kids that are being bullied in playgrounds that are employees' children - that is not right through fictitious allegations from other teams. "You cannot go around just making that kind of allegation without any fact, or substance. "We absolutely are appalled at the behaviour of some of our competitors."
Brown's denies calling out Red Bull
Responding to Horner's comments, Brown denied his letter was actively directed at Red Bull. "My letter set out that I think if someone, a team, spends more than the cap, they're going to get an advantage," he said. "And the cap is a rule no different than the technical rules in the sport. "We're not taking a view whether they did or didn't. "My letter was, if someone has, then here are the things that we think should be addressed. It is no different than if ride height is incorrect, or a flexi wing or whatever the case may be. "I didn't mention any teams. "It was a general response now that we are into the cost cap error, if someone breaches that, here's what we think some of the ramifications are."