After a brief break F1 is back on track this weekend, but all talks around the Singapore Paddock have very little to do with the race, attention is all focused on the alleged cost cap breach Red Bull and Aston Martin put in place last season.
Remarks that did not go unnoticed over at Red Bull.
“Unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at what the options available to us are,” angrily stated Team Principal Christian Horner at Saturday morning’s press conference.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to be making comments of the type that were made yesterday, that are totally defamatory to the team, to the brands, and even to Formula 1."
While it seems that Aston went over the limit by a smaller amount, Red Bull is rumored to have breached the rule significantly. Something that could lead to implications as serious as being excluded from the championship.
Going over the permitted amount by more than 5%, in fact, translates to an additional seven million of budget that clearly creates an important advantage and makes for a “material breach.”
“It is a private submission between the team and the FIA,” continued Horner. “So how on earth can any team know the detail of our submission? How on earth can any team know that a team is in breach or not?”
"We don't even know if we're in breach. We don't even know until next week, until the process has been completed.”
The FIA will be issuing compliance certificates for the cost cap next Wednesday.
“Perhaps, when these accusations are made, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And we take umbrage, and extremely seriously, the remarks that have been made.”
Horner also speculated that it is only a way for Ferrari and Mercedes to deflect attention from the struggles both teams have been encountering on track this season and overshadow Verstappen’s impressive performances.
“Is it any coincidence that Max has his first shot at winning a world title, and here we are talking nothing but cost caps rather than the phenomenal performance that he has had this year.”
“I think it's an underhand tactic that's been employed to detract from perhaps a lack of performance on track this year. And of course, when references are made to last year, this year, next year, we're going to take that extremely seriously.”
“This is an issue for the FIA to deal with, but also an issue for Red Bull to consider what our position is with those comments that have been made.”
While investigations are still ongoing Red Bull claims to have complied with the rules.
“We made the submission in March, we stand absolutely 100 percent behind that submission that we are below the cap,” he said. "Of course, that submission has to be signed off by our auditors and obviously, ours is one of the big three. And then it goes through a process with the FIA.”
Currently, he confirms, Red Bull is engaged in discussions on the matter with the FIA.
“We're a little bit like an audit where there are questions and interpretations that are raised and discussed,”
“That process is ongoing with the FIA, who haven't obviously completed their process at this point in time, I think they made that clear in a statement they put out yesterday evening.”
“So we await with interest to see the final outcome of that process, which hopefully is in the near future, we but remain absolutely confident that we've absolutely complied with the cap.”