‘That’s defamatory’: Red Bull chief Helmut Marko claims leaked FIA budget report ‘damages reputation’ after rumors the team has ‘significantly’ exceeded the £114m cap… as Toto Wolff suggests nemesis Christian Horner not ‘speaks to his CFO’
- Helmut Marko calls leaked FIA budget cap report ‘defamatory’
- Rumors suggested Red Bull and Aston Martin had broken the rules
- Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff took a quick look at Christian Horner
- Horner was adamant his side is innocent of breaking the £114million limit
Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has wondered how the FIA budget caps report could have been leaked amid rumors that his side exceeded the £114m spending cap last season.
The Austrian team’s adviser claimed the leaked report was ‘defamatory’ after suggestions of overspending on his part, while insisting that Red Bull is innocent of any wrongdoing.
The leak adds even more drama to a 2021 season with unprecedented twists and turns in a title race between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen that was decided under controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi.
Helmut Marko has described leaked FIA budget cap report as ‘defamatory’ for Red Bull
Marko told Sky Deutschland“The FIA says it doesn’t know how this came about, but it’s strange that certain things are coming to light from an ongoing process. That is defamatory.
“I just think it’s great that something like this is being made public. It damages your reputation.
“When the facts are clear, we can talk about it.
Rumor has it that Red Bull has ‘significantly’ exceeded the sport’s £114m budget cap
‘I can’t say anything about the procedure at all. As far as we are concerned, however, we have not exceeded the cost limit.’
The FIA was quick to state that any leaks would be ‘treated’, but with the rest of the paddock in arms over the suggestions, there is further pressure to release the official report next week.
It is rumored that both Red Bull and Aston Martin have exceeded the limit, which is one of the FIA’s attempts to create as level playing field as possible in a sport where money rules.
But Marko continued to plead his innocence, suggesting that the leaked claims amounted to clerical errors due to the magnitude of the Austrian team’s operation.
Christian Horner (left) is adamant his team is innocent of any alleged wrongdoing
He added: ‘It is an ongoing process, there are ongoing discussions where certain points are being clarified. But at the moment we’re not really worried,” explains Marko.
‘There are items mentioned that don’t even belong in the budget.
“Various accountants from the FIA sit down with our accountants and then discuss everything, for example about who works where within the Red Bull group.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff quickly took the opportunity to dig for his nemesis Horner
“We have several companies: Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Red Bull Technology, Red Bull Powertrains. You have to be very clear in that distinction.’
Team principal Christian Horner added: “I am sure things will clear up over the years, but we are confident in our submission. There will always be rumours. I’ve heard of major breaches and stuff. I’m certainly not aware of that.’
But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff couldn’t resist the urge to dig his big rival, telling: Sky F1“It’s funny Christian says that because it’s been weeks and months they’ve been under investigation, so maybe he’s not talking to his CFO.
‘Actually, we’ve all been researched diligently. As far as we understand, there is one team in a minor offense that is more procedural, and another team that is fundamentally, massively over, that is still being watched. So that’s an open secret in the paddock.’