Red Bull boss Christian Horner has labelled his team’s budget cap sanction as “enormous” and “draconian” but says the squad has accepted its penalty.
Red Bull was handed a fine of $7m, to be paid within 30 days, as well as a 10 per cent reduction in its aerodynamic testing time.
As champions Red Bull was due to receive 70 per cent of the mean average time per Formula 1’s sliding scale – set at 100 per cent for the seventh-placed team – but will now only receive 63 per cent.
This compares to the runner-up, currently Ferrari, receiving 75 per cent of the mean average time, and the third-best team, which is Mercedes, at 80 per cent.
“The more draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10 percent reduction on our ability to utilise our wind tunnel and aerodynamic tools,” said Horner during a press conference in Mexico City on Friday.
“I’ve heard people reporting today that that is an insignificant amount, but let me tell you that is an enormous amount. That represents anywhere between 0.25s and 0.5s of lap time. That comes in from now, it has a direct effect on next year’s car and it will be in place for a 12-month period.
“By winning the Constructors’ championship we have become victims of our own success by, in addition to that ten percent, having five percent incremental disadvantage or handicap compared to second and third place.
“That 10 percent put into reality will have an impact on our ability to perform on track next year.”
While disagreeing with the sanction itself Horner outlined why Red Bull opted to accept the breach.
“Had we dragged it out through the administration process to go to effectively appeal, that could take months, and beyond that the appeal could have taken further months,” he said.
“So we could have been looking at 12 month period to have this situation closed and the amount of speculation, commenting and sniping going on in the paddock, it was in everyone’s interest – our interest, the FIA’s interest and Formula 1’s interest – to say we close the book and we close the book here and today.
“We accept the penalties, begrudgingly, but we accept them.”
Horner nonetheless dismissed a notion that Red Bull should apologise for its breach of the financial regulations.
“To be honest with you I think we’re probably due an apology from some of our rivals for some of the claims they have made,” he said.
“We make no apology for the way that we’ve performed, the way that we’ve acted. We do take on the chin that there are lessons to be learned and potentially mistakes have been made in our submission, which with the benefit of hindsight with 20:20 vision everybody can be a specialist, but there was no intent.
“There was nothing dishonest and there was certainly no cheating involved, which has been alleged in certain areas. So I don’t feel like we need to apologise”