Christian Horner reignites FIA feud as Red Bull boss gets sarcastic

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Christian Horner has reignited Red Bull’s feud with the FIA with a sarcastic remark over the fine dished out to his team last year. Horner was left furious when speculation became rife that his team had exceeded the budget cap in the 2021 campaign, which culminated in Max Verstappen’s dramatic title win in Abu Dhabi.

He threatened legal action when some rival team bosses spoke out about the budget cap allegations, only to be left red-faced when an FIA investigation ruled Red Bull were guilty of a minor breach. They were duly fined £5.8 million, and handed a restriction in wind tunnel testing time.

Horner later acknowledged that his team had mistakenly thought catering costs were excluded from the budget cap, as it is considered a company-wide benefit.

Red Bull’s primary focus this week will be success at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with both Verstappen and Sergio Perez showing good pace in P1 and P2. However, it appears last year’s dispute with the FIA is still at the forefront of Horner’s mind.

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During his media duties on Friday, he quipped: “It’s great to see the fine being applied so well,” whilst smiling broadly. “We’ve got a new couch and Tom [Clarkson, the press conference moderator] has got a new suit… it’s great to see the funding into the FIA being spent so effectively.”

Whilst the 49-year-old could claim to have been joking, the pointed dig made it clear he is still unhappy at what he perceives as an unfair punishment. Although he hasn’t been the only one at odds with the authorities in Bahrain.

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Lewis Hamilton, from rival team Mercedes, has managed to defy the F1 jewellery ban. The 38-year-old raised eyebrows by turning up with a nose piercing this week, but it has since been confirmed he has been granted a medical exemption.

It’s not the only show of defiance from the seven-time world champion. Hamilton was caught wearing a rainbow design on his helmet when stepping into his new W14 ahead of P1, despite the driver ban on political statements. 

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