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Formula 1

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said teams will 'always spend 10% more' than budget

Ryan Sidle

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said teams will 'always spend 10% more' than budget

Red Bull were found to have been guilty of breaking the budget cap for the 2021 Formula One world championships and now Christian Horner's comments about overspending from 2020 have emerged.

On Monday afternoon it was revealed by the FIA that they had found Red Bull in breach of the spending budget for the 2021 season, with the team the only one found to have overspent.

Horner had been pretty confident that his team would be okay when it came to the announcement, and Red Bull's statement on Monday made it seem like they didn't expect to be over.

"We note the findings by the FIA of 'minor overspend breaches of the financial regulations' with surprise and disappointment," the Milton Keynes based team said.

"Our 2021 submission was below the cost cap limit, so we need to carefully review the FIA's findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount."

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They're now awaiting what their punishment will be, which could be up to a disqualification from last year's championship but is more likely to be a fine.

Red Bull could reject the findings and appeal against them, which certainly sounds like an option considering the statement and Horner's previous claims he would start legal proceedings against Toto Wolff for claiming Red Bull were over the limit.

Now the Red Bull principal's words from two years ago have emerged, from a blog post on the team website, which suggested he, and other teams, would always go over budget.

"Money is a hot topic among F1 teams right now," the 48-year-old wrote when talking about the potential of equal budgets being imposed on teams.

"The problem is, so much is made about the figure of the cost cap that I believe it is missing the point.

"F1 teams will always spend whatever budget they have available to them. Plus an extra 10 percent.

"It is impossible to compare the spending of Ferrari to Haas, of Mercedes to Racing Point or even from Red Bull to AlphaTauri. They are all completely different structures and business models.

"I believe the solution should be looking at what drives those costs up in the first place and that is the R&D cost of building and developing cars in the hope of being competitive."

Horner celebrates with Max Verstappen after winning the drivers' world title on Sunday. Image: Alamy
Horner celebrates with Max Verstappen after winning the drivers' world title on Sunday. Image: Alamy

The problem in the sport has long been the competitiveness amongst the teams, with those at the front of the grid having more to spend, winning, earning more money and the cycle continuing in that fashion.

Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes have been the teams with the highest budgets and those at the front of the grid for the past 13 years.

People have been calling for the budget to be the same for each team, which was brought in last season for the first time, but Horner was clearly against it in 2020.

"I fully support the need to reduce costs and ensure that all 10 teams remain in the sport but there are many ways to accomplish that goal and they are not all just about lowering the cost cap," he wrote in his blog.

"If the main target of a cost cap is about being competitive and helping the smaller teams, especially as we come through the current crisis, then I would be fully open to selling our cars at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Horner hasn't been convinced of his team's guilt. Image: Alamy
Horner hasn't been convinced of his team's guilt. Image: Alamy

"Some people say that customer cars are against F1’s DNA to design and build your own car, well times have changed and we need to find the best way to make the smaller teams competitive and survive the current crisis. This approach works well in MotoGP and it could even attract more teams to the grid, which we would all welcome.

"Teams spend fortunes over winter copying others, why not just give them the opportunity to buy last year’s car?

"It would make far more sense for a team to be competitive, rather than spending money developing something if the funds are not there to do so. As the business model of the smaller teams evolves and they become more competitive with customer cars, they can bring in increased revenue and then look to build their own cars again.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Formula 1, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Ryan Sidle
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