Horner insists Red Bull 2021 budget submission was 'below cap'

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has firmly denied rumors of a cost cap breach by his team, insisting his outfit's submission to the FIA for certification was "below the cap".

Rumors that two teams – Red Bull and Aston Martin – may have exceeded the mandatory cost cap limit of $145 million emerged on Friday, but the FIA was mum on the matter insisting it would publicly comment once the formal certification process is completed.

Speculation is rife in Marina Bay over the potential sanctions that could be levied upon the teams if they were deemed to have indeed breached the budget cap.

It has been suggested that Aston Martin could find itself in minor breach of the regulations while Red Bull's violation could be more significant and would therefore entail a sever sanction.

But Horner is adamant that his team has done its accounting by the book.

"The accounts were all submitted way back in March. So it's been a long process with the FIA, going through that, and we're in that process as we speak," the Red Bull boss told Sky F1.

"They're rightly following that process, and I think next week, mid next week, is when they declare the certificates. I think that certainly our submission was below the cap. And it's down to the FIA, obviously, to follow their process, which they're currently doing."

Despite Horner's confident stance, only the FIA can rubber stamp the accounts and there may be disagreements or differing interpretations regarding items included in the accounts, or clarifications related to exchange rates, that have led to a divergence in numbers between the FIA and Red Bull.

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"This is the first time this has ever happened," said Horner. "But we do our due diligence, and we get audited anyway.

"It's a similar process to that of working with an auditor, so it's slightly bespoke to F1. And clarifications have been coming, even after the submissions were made.

"So you can see how immature the process is. But the FIA, obviously, has been working hard on it and doing the best they can."

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B. 12.12.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina

Horner admitted that he wasn't surprised by there being a potential spread between the team and the FIA's audit numbers given novelty of the process.

"Inevitably it is a brand new set of regulations, and a set of very complicated regulations, so how rules are interpreted or applied, inevitably, are going to be subjective between the teams," he explained.

"I'm sure, as the years go by, things will get tidied up. But we're confident in our submission.

"The FIA are in a process and I think there's always going to be rumours. I've heard of major breaches and whatever, but I'm certainly not aware of that."

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