Christian Horner gets rare backing in Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto row


    Christian Horner and Red Bull have been defended by Gerhard Berger over claims they breached F1’s budget cap. Berger said talk over breaking the rules was “pointless” until all the information had come to light.

    The former Ferrari star revealed there was “no serious basis” behind the claims that the team had broken any rules. However, the ex-driver did stress that penalties needed to be applied if it emerges Red Bull are guilty of overspending.

    It comes after Horner has battled Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto over the issue. Berger explained: ‘Having a discussion that is not based on clear facts is pointless.

    “It’s such a complex subject, where everyone has their specialities in how they read and interpret the regulations. If it’s been broken then there must be penalties, but nobody knows anything at the moment. And that is not a serious basis to discuss it.”

    READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen saga set for more twists

    German newspaper Auto Motor Und Sport reported Red Bull has broken the budget cap by around £9million ($10mil). This would have been enough for Red Bull to be hit with severe sanctions including points deductions.

    But, it is now understood that any overspending is likely to be a lot smaller in a massive relief for Max Verstappen. Journalist Alexandre Braeckman, per F1i, claimed the team broke the rules by just £131,000 ($150,000) after an appeal.

    It means Red Bull are likely to only face a fine for a minor violation of the rules. The decision was expected to be announced on Wednesday but was delayed late in the afternoon.

    Teams will instead be issued their compliance certificates from tomorrow (Monday).

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    Former F1 driver Christijan Albers hit back at the FIA for its handling of the situation. He commented: “The FIA just doesn’t have it under control.

    “That’s the big problem right now. The FIA just isn’t in control of the regulations. It’s a kind of horse trading where they kind of clap their hands behind the scenes.” Red Bull have denied any wrongdoing, stressing last weekend that the claims were “speculation”.

    Christian Horner has also defended his squad, threatening legal action against their rivals for “defamatory” comments on the situation.

    He added: “I just reiterate, what is totally unacceptable is for teams that are not party to any form of the submission to be making claims about our submission, about perspective penalties. It’s just bang out of order. Perhaps when these accusations are made, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    “I think it’s an underhand tactic deployed to detract from perhaps a lack of performance on track this year.”


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