Two-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen has offered his take on how Red Bull can turn their fine from breaching the budget cap into a positive.

Max Verstappen has offered his perspective on how Red Bull’s budget cap penalty can benefit them next season. Chrstian Horner and co overspent during the 2021 season as Verstappen won his first F1 world title, and agreed not to fight the fine imposed by the FIA
They were guilty of overspending by £1.85m and as a result were fined £6m and will lose 10% of their aerodynamic testing time over the next 12 months as punishment. The punishment divided opinion, as some felt justice had been served and others worried that it might not be enough to prevent other teams from willingly breaking the rules in the future now a precedent has been set.

Max Verstappen meanwhile, believes the punishment will further motivate Red Bull to come back stronger next season with the endeavour to defend both the drivers and constructors titles. “It will affect us but how much, I don’t know yet,” the Dutchman told the media ahead of the Sao Paulo GP.

“But I’m confident the team and the people we have can use that as extra motivation to try and do even better. I know, of course, they always give their best. But we have a very competitive car, we have a lot of great ideas, I think already for next year as well with the car and hopefully it will be enough.”

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen thinks Red Bull’s punishment for breaching the budget cap will work in their favour (Image: Getty)

Horner on the other hand, is concerned about the potential implications for their performance during next season. “I hear people say it’s not a severe penalty, but 10 per cent less wind tunnel time and other aerodynamic tools is a draconian penalty,” said the Red Bull team principal during a press conference at last month’s Mexican GP.

“That can cost 0.25sec to 0.5sec [per lap]. It will have an impact on our ability to perform on track next year.” At the US GP, Horner continued to make the case that his team had met the cap according to their interpretation of the regulations but, sitting alongside McLaren boss Zak Brown at the press conference, he was furious with his fellow team principal.

“It’s tremendously disappointing for a fellow competitor to accuse you of cheating. To accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking, without the facts, without any knowledge of the detail,” he said. “We have been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore.

“The rhetoric of ‘cheats’, the rhetoric that we have this enormous benefit. The damage that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce.

“In an age where mental health is prevalent we are seeing significant issues within our workforce. We are getting kids that are employees’ children bullied in playgrounds. That’s not right through fictitious allegations from other teams.

“You cannot go around making those kinds of allegations without any fact or substance. We are appalled at the behaviour of some of our competitors.”

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