Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has responded to claims from rival teams, amid allegations that his team breached Formula 1’s budget cap in 2021.
Reports emerged in German and Italian media outlets on Friday that suggested Red Bull, as well as Aston Martin, had over-spent the newly-introduced budget cap last year.
One team was said to have done so marginally, while another was believed to have exceeded the quota by a substantial amount.
Red Bull has asserted that it is confident that it operated under the $145 million budget cap, having submitted its accounts to the FIA six months ago.
Mercedes and Ferrari both criticised Red Bull on Friday amid the accusations – which prompted a heated response from Horner.
“We were a little bit taken aback by comments that were coming from two of our rival teams yesterday,” Horner said.
“The submission between the team and the FIA is one that is confidential. I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submissions are, or the accounting treatment or so on.
“So I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from. They are hugely defamatory and we take umbrage to them.”
Red Bull is currently enjoying a dominant season, and is on course to take the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 2022.
Max Verstappen can win the title as early as this Sunday in Singapore – with Horner believing it is no coincidence that the allegations come on the eve of the Dutchman’s second championship.
“One can only assume it’s not coincidental that this is at a point where Max has his first strike at a world championship,” Horner said.
“How on earth do they have this information? Where do they have this knowledge? The FIA have even stated they haven’t even completed their process.
“So unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will taking it incredibly seriously and looking at what the options available to us are.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to be making comments of the type that were made yesterday, that is totally defamatory to the team, to the brands, and even to F1. I would be intrigued to know where their source of information has come from.”
The FIA is due to issue certificates of compliance next week, which is set to offer more clarity on the situation.