Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner said speculation that Red Bull had breached F1’s qualifying caps rule was “designed to distract” from Max Verstappen’s victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Reports circulated ahead of last weekend’s F1 Singapore Grand Prix that Red Bull (and Aston Martin) had breached last season’s budget cap regulations.
The subject has dominated media headlines, particularly with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) delaying issuing a certificate of compliance until Monday.
Sky Sports said Red Bull’s offense was understood to be “minor”.
Max Verstappen could win his second drivers’ championship at this weekend’s Japanese F1 Grand Prix if he beats Charles Leclerc by eight points and Sergio Perez by six points. In other words, if you record the win + fastest lap, the title will be decided on the spot.
Christian Horner believes that the ‘buzz’ over the budget cap is being used to undermine Max Verstappen’s chances of winning this weekend.
“It’s a big weekend for Max,” Christian Horner told Sky Sports after FP2 at Suzuka.
“It’s a possibility, not a probability, but effectively it’s another counterpoint to it. That’s what we’re focusing on.”
“I can only assume that all the fuss around other topics is designed to be a bit of a distraction. We are very happy with where we are now, where Cap’s presentations are, and the focus is all on this weekend
Christian Horner has reiterated that Red Bull Racing has complied with the budget cap and is awaiting the FIA’s decision on Monday.
“We were expecting a certificate on Wednesday as well, but it’s late for all the teams,” added Horner.
“The FIA clearly made that choice.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens on Monday. Once again we feel we have fully adhered to our budget cap and regulations, we are happy with our results and look forward to hear what your feedback is waiting.”
Christian Horner is confident that Red Bull are getting faster after running just one set of intermediates in FP2.
Max Verstappen finished the second practice 0.8 seconds behind George Russell, but Christian Horner said the difference was due to Mercedes using more tyres.
“This track is very demanding on tyres,” explained Horner.
“In that second session we only used one set of inters. I think Mercedes were running three sets. I think our pace was reasonable. You could see very quickly that the front tire was coming end here. And it’s hard to come to many conclusions.”
“There’s a lot of data for them to look at, but overall it’s been a pretty reasonable day. I think it’s going to be interesting. We were definitely using an extra set of tires … especially in Sector 1 where the new set has a big advantage.”
“The times today are probably not representative, but it’s definitely mixed and definitely looks competitive. I think Ferrari is probably out of position as well. I think the everything a little more harmonious.”
Category: F1 / red bull / F1 Japanese GP