ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 12: Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner shakes hands with runner-up Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP on the podium during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on December 12, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Red Bull boss Christian Horner on Friday hit back aggressively at claims his team got away with just a “knock on the wrist” for cost cap breaches last year.
Annoyed by comments made by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes teammate George Russell, Horner said it was “always easy to throw shade when you’re not performing”.
Hamilton said the penalty imposed on Red Bull last year was not a sufficient deterrent and suggested teams should continue to exceed the spending limit because the potential penalty was nothing more than a “slap on the wrist”.
Russell said Red Bull’s penalty, for what was described as minor spending in 2021, was disproportionate to the scale of the offense.
Red Bull was fined $7 million and a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel use this year.
“If wind tunnels don’t count why don’t we just get rid of them?” Horner told Sky. “Believe me, the hit we take with wind tunnel time compared to our competitors is a great compromise.”
Red Bull, the champion team, has won every race this year with two-time world champion Max Verstappen winning eight out of ten races, including the last six before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton has not won a race since his record-breaking 103 in 2021 when, in the final race, he was eclipsed to what would have been an eighth title by Verstappen in a controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finish.
Red Bull will set a new record of 12 consecutive victories if they can win on Sunday. They currently share a record of 11 consecutive wins with McLaren, who achieved the feat in 1988.