Verstappen: Silly F1 rivals should keep 'mouths shut' on cost cap

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Max Verstappen says Red Bull's F1 rivals should "just keep your mouth shut" and refrain from jumping to ill-informed conclusions regarding rumors that his team has transgressed the sport's budget cap rules.

The word in the paddock in Singapore since Friday is that two teams breached F1's $145,000 budget cap last season, with Red Bull and Aston Martin singled out as the alleged violators.

But while the Silverstone-based outfit's breach is believed to have been minor, Mercedes and Ferrari alluded to a significant overspend by Red Bull in 2021, and both Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto have called for stringent sanctions by the FIA if a material infraction is proven.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner denied the allegations, insisting the accounts sublitted by his team for certification by the FIA were below the cap.

Horner also threatened with litigation teams making "unacceptable and defamatory" accusations against Red Bull, something Wolff dismissed as "noise".

"Team bosses have already commented much too much, because obviously we have been asked the questions," said Wolff.

"But this is a process that we have no involvement in, we just look after our own finances, we make sure that we provide all the materials to the auditors, and they judge whether we got it right or wrong.

"And then there is a dialogue that happens, how our interpretation was and why it was and why it wasn’t.

"It’s just minding our own business. And I think we should probably also calm everything down."

The FIA is expected to provide clarity on the matter next week, but in the interim Verstappen says that Red Bull's rivals would be better inspired by keeping their opinions under their hat, while the Dutchman is also confident that his team is in the clear regarding its spending in 2021.

"I know where it comes from, so..." said Verstappen on Saturday in Singapore.

"What I hear from the team, yes [I’m confident].

"Of course, then other teams started to talk about it when they had no information. I find that a bit silly. Just keep your mouths shut."

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75; Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18; Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18; and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75 in qualifying parc ferme. 10.09.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Qualifying

Should Red Bull be found in severe violation of F1's financial rules, the FIA could theoretically strip the team and its star driver of its 2021 points, a drastic sanction that would take away Verstappen's world title.

Queried on that prospect, 2021 runner-up Lewis Hamilton, who lost the championship to Verstappen on the final lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi, said he really hadn't "given it much attention, to be honest".

"It’s all whispers at the moment. I don’t know enough about it to be able to make a sensible comment," added the Mercedes driver.

"I’m not thinking particularly anything. I’m proud of my team for the diligence that they’ve done to run to the rules.

"I honestly have full confidence in Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president], in the way that he’s conducted himself to this point, in terms of being strict and being clear with the rules.

"The rules are rules. And for those sorts of things which can lead to real alterations in terms of car performance, we definitely have to take it seriously.

"I don’t know if it’s true or not. We’ll see."

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