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Christian Horner used his platform at the season-ending FIA gala to take a cheeky dig at F1’s governing body for the £4million bill Red Bull recently received. Red Bull won their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013 this season with Max Verstappening dominating the Drivers’ Championship.
Sergio Perez played his part in helping Red Bull stay ahead of Ferrari and all three were in attendance at the FIA gala on Friday night. It was a chance for Horner and Co. to reflect on the 2022 season and the Red Bull team principal was full of praise for both his drivers, as well as those back in the factory working on the car.
But Horner jokingly remarked to Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who was sat with the three Red Bull counterparts on stage, about the £4million bill he received recently. “It’s a very special season because we broke all our own records,” Horner said at the FIA gala.
“These two guys [Perez and Verstappen] have been truly amazing this year. Max in particular had an outstanding season. And I think the effort that has gone on behind the scenes – the biggest rule change in forty years – the whole team in Milton Keynes just rose to that challenge magnificently.
“To have achieved those 17 race wins, two sprint race victories out of the three, five 1-2 finishes and 759 points. I didn’t realise how much we had to pay the FIA for the points. I got the bill the other day and it was incredible.”
Each team has to make a base payment of around £18,000 in the form of a renewal fee every year, but the biggest bill comes from the amount of points Red Bull picked up. The FIA have long had a tax in place for every point drivers pick up in the Drivers’ Championship and, according to RacingNews365, that fee is currently around £4,700 per point.
The report adds that Red Bull’s bill comes to roughly £4m for the year and the FIA president wanted to clarify that the money didn’t go into his pocket. “We’re not taking the fine by the way, the money is not going to the FIA,” Ben Sulayem said.
Horner jokingly replied: “It’s marketing, it’s out the cap.”
Red Bull were found to have overspent F1’s budget cap by £1.86m during last season with the team entering into an “accepted breach agreement” with the FIA in October. Under the terms of the agreement, Red Bull were hit with a fine of about £6m with the biggest punishment being a 10 per cent reducting in aerodynamic research for 2023.
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