Max Verstappen thinks he knows why other teams in Formula 1 are asking for a heavy penalty on Red Bull for exceeding the budget cap last year. “It’s basically because we’re doing very well,” Verstappen told Sky Sports ahead of the US Grand Prix in Austin (Texas). “They’re trying to slow us down in every way they can.” “That’s how it works in Formula 1. In the end, everyone is a bit hypocritical. I’m fine with that, we just have to focus on our work.”
The 25-year-old Dutchman claimed his second world title in Japan two weeks ago. A day later, the FIA reported that Red Bull’s Verstappen team spent more money building and developing the car last year than was allowed. According to the FIA, this is a slight overrun of the budget ceiling of $145 million. The week before, it was leaked that Red Bull had broken the rules.
The FIA has not yet issued a penalty. It is said that the Federation submitted a settlement proposal to the Austrian racing stable. “Nothing has been confirmed yet, and the case is still ongoing,” Verstappen said in the US. “We’ve been very clear as a team about what we think is right. But in the end it’s not my job, it’s an issue between the team and the FIA.” The Dutchman claimed his first world title last year, after a heated battle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen outperformed the Briton on the last lap of the last race.
Teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren have publicly called on the FIA to act aggressively. Red Bull boss Christian Horner threatened legal action two weeks ago if the rival teams did not withdraw their “defamatory and unacceptable” comments.
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