Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner believes the FIA has handed them an “extremely draconian” penalty for going over the budget in 2021 and that it will have a dramatic impact on the title fight over the next two seasons, explaining that going over the budget by 1,846,000 pounds was not key to Max Verstappen’s two titles.
The FIA fined Red Bull $7 million, but also a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel testing over the next 12 months, something Horner says will hurt their cars by half a second per lap. According to him, the FIA itself confirms that with the tax exemptions in Great Britain they exceeded the budget by only 432,652 pounds.
“A transgression of 0.37 percent, we are talking about such an amount. They gave us a significant penalty, both financial and sporting, because $7 million is a lot of money. The most draconian is the sports penalty with a 10 percent reduction in the air tunnel and aerodynamic tools. I’ve heard comments that this is a minor reduction in testing, but it will cost us a quarter to over a second per lap. That comes into effect now and will have a direct impact on the car for 2023. In addition to that 10 percent, as world champions we will have a 5 percent handicap compared to second and third place,” says Horner.
He also detailed points of contention with the FIA, including the fact that the team provides free food and drink to its employees, so the entire bill for this had to be included in the budget. He adds that the fact that they agreed with the FIA does not mean an admission of guilt.
“We accept that this set of rules is immature, that there are interpretations and that this FIA administration has inherited those rules. If we decided to appeal, then the process would have dragged on for months and then we would have gone to the International Court of Sports, a period of at least 12 months, during which there would be speculation and we felt that it was not in the interest of the sport. We close the book here and begrudgingly accept the penalties. Should we apologize? Honestly, some of the rivals should apologize to us for the things they said. There is no apology for our performance, for how we behaved. We will take this blow and learn the lesson. Therefore, there is no need to apologize,” says Horner.
Red Bull got away with only a $7 million fine for going over budget