McLaren chief mocks Horner ‘fairy tale’ and criticises cost cap penalty

McLaren have become the first team to criticise the severity of Red Bull’s cost cap punishment.

Formula 1’s champion have been hit with a £6million fine and a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel use for overspending in 2021 as Max Verstappen controversially pipped Lewis Hamilton to the drivers’ title.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner held a lengthy press conference to give his reaction to the punishment which the team has been negotiating with the FIA. In it, he defiantly defended the team’s position, refused to apologise for the breach and hit out at their rivals who had been demanding a heavy sanction. One of those teams were McLaren, whose CEO Zak Brown wrote to the FIA to effectively accuse Red Bull of cheating and suggest a suitable punishment.

READ MORE: Red Bull claim cost penalty is ‘draconian’ because of ‘Cold War wind tunnel’

Since the announcement ahead of the practice for the Mexican Grand Prix, the Woking team have doubled down on their stance via team principal Andreas Seidl.

Asked by Sky Sports if he had watched Horner’s press conference, he replied: “No, I didn’t listen to it. I can imagine it was another fairy tale hour, probably. No, I’m not really interested in that.”

On the process as a whole and Red Bull’s punishment, he added: “In the end, on the positive side, it’s good to see that the FIA did a good job in terms of doing the audit. Nine teams got it right and it was clear one team was in breach. That’s a positive outcome.

“One the negative side, it’s clear the penalty doesn’t fit the breach. I just hope that moving forward we have stricter penalties in place.”

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Seidl rejected Horner’s suggestion that the budget cap for 2022 could be breached by the other UK-based teams due to rising costs.

“There’s absolutely no reason to be in breach this year,” said the German. “We had good discussions earlier this year with all teams, the FIA, Formula 1 regarding these topics. That’s why the cap was adjusted [upwards].

“I just hope, if there’s any breach again, that there ends up being a proper penalty.”

While Seidl believes Red Bull have got off lightly, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was surprisingly neutral on the punishment, seemingly content to draw a line under the saga.


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