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Luke Smith

Verstappen: Red Bull has "strong belief" it was within F1 budget cap

Following the Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA announced that its audit for the budget cap last year found Red Bull had exceeded the $145 million limit in place for the season.

The FIA deemed Red Bull was responsible for a minor breach, which is within 5% of the overall budget cap, and would consider its next steps.

Red Bull has always fiercely denied that it exceeded the budget cap, but it is now in talks with the FIA about a possible Accepted Breach Agreement to settle the case.

Verstappen clinched his second F1 world title in Japan two weeks ago but denied the situation surrounding Red Bull and the budget cap breach was hanging over the team.

“It’s something between the team and the FIA anyway, right?” Verstappen said on Thursday in Austin. “And from our side, we have a strong belief that we were in it.

“So that’s why we are discussing about it, to show what we think is right. But, at the end of the day, it’s not up to me. I’m just focused on the performance on-track.”

It is understood that the FIA’s findings deemed that Red Bull exceeded the budget cap by around $1.8 million, relating to areas such as the allocation of sick pay and the cost of catering at its factory and at the track.

A number of figures within the F1 paddock have called on the FIA to take strong action if it found Red Bull did breach the budget cap, stressing its importance to protect the integrity of the financial regulations moving forward.

The Red Bull Racing team celebrate at the podium (Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool)

McLaren boss Zak Brown wrote to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem last week calling for strict action, saying that overspending “constitutes cheating”.

Lewis Hamilton – who narrowly lost to Verstappen in last year’s title fight – was initially coy on the topic, but said it was important for some action to be taken in order to deter teams from overspending in the future.

Asked if he was bothered by everyone discussing the budget cap, Verstappen replied: “It just depends what you read.

“For me, I think what we have achieved this year is incredible. And about the budget cap, yes, they’re talking about it now, but like I said before, we think that we are right, and we will of course always believe in our cause and we will show that to the FIA.

“Now it’s up to them of course to make a decision. Also that will go away again.”

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