Dr Helmut Marko is unimpressed with rumors that Red Bull went over the budget cap last season, saying yesterday that stuff « damage to your reputation ».
It didn’t take long before the story hit the Singapore paddock, with Christian Horner insisting the proceedings were still ongoing.
But how is it that competitors are already aware of problems, minor in the case of Aston Martin F1, much larger in the case of Red Bull? The accounts of this last team have not yet been certified, like those of the nine others.
« FIA says they don’t know how this leak happened but it’s defamatory, » says Red Bull’s motorsport adviser today.
« Once the facts are clear, we can talk about them. I cannot comment on the proceedings at all. From our point of view, however, we have not exceeded the spending limit. »
For Marko, there are indeed points to clarify, which may explain the speculation. What justify 5 to 7 million presumed overruns?
« It’s an ongoing process, there are ongoing discussions where some points are being clarified. But we’re not really worried at the moment. Points are being listed that don’t even belong to the budget cap. »
“Different accountants from the FIA sit down with our accountants and discuss all sorts of things, for example who works where within the Red Bull group.
« We have different companies: Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Red Bull Technology, Red Bull Powertrains. You have to be very clear in that distinction. »
« Again, from our point of view, we have not exceeded the limit. »
Haas F1 boss Gunther Steiner confirms: « They say they understood some things of the regulations differently, so they need to clarify that aspect first. I’m not saying they need to be disqualified, but at least a penalty. But I don’t know the elements in detail. »
Gossips are already reminding the paddock that the problem of these subsidiaries and this opaque management of Red Bull and AlphaTauri no longer really makes it possible to distinguish who does what on which project. It’s up to the FIA to render its conclusions and see if Red Bull’s point of view was the right one… or not!