A member of the Red Bull team feels that it is purely ‘coincidental’ that reports have emerged that they have surpassed the budget cap at a time when Max Verstappen could record a historic title win. The Dutchman could win consecutive titles this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.
However, it appears unlikely given that he will need to outscore second-placed Charles Leclerc by 22 points. He will also need to beat Sergio Perez by 13 points and George Russell to get his hands on the title once more, in far less controversial circumstances than last season.
Verstappen clinched the title from the grip of Lewis Hamilton in the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP, and that season could be tarred by the news that his team overspent. Allegations have surfaced that Red Bull surpassed the £114million spending cap last season, though they have denied doing so and labelled the claims as speculation.
Some have claimed that the reports emerging at this time and the FIA investigating have been used as a way to downplay Verstappen’s potentially historic victory – the earliest title win in the last 20 years. Though Chris Medland reports that when asked about with that theory, a member of the Red Bull team ‘thought it was just coincidental’.
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Red Bull are adamant that the FIA will not find any rules were broken when the investigation is completed soon, though Mercedes and Ferrari are amongst those to condemn the team if it is found that they have overspent. Horner has hit back at the two teams though, saying: “We were a little bit taken aback by comments that were coming from two of our rival teams yesterday.
“The submission between the team and the FIA is one that is confidential. I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submissions are, or the accounting treatment or so on. I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from. They are hugely defamatory and we take umbrage to them.”