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Red Bull boss Christian Horner says team were 'several million' below F1 cost cap in 2022

Christian Horner says Red Bull were under F1's cost cap last year as the FIA continue to work with teams regarding last year's financial findings; watch the Belgian GP from Spa-Francorchamps live on Sky Sports F1 from July 28-30

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Christian Horner says it's great to see Daniel Ricciardo back F1 and says Red Bull were below last year's cost cap limit

Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull were "several million" below the F1 cost cap in 2022, amid ongoing fieldwork from the FIA into last year's financial submissions from the teams.

Last year, Red Bull were found guilty of a "minor overspend" for the 2021 campaign and received a $7m fine plus a 10 per cent reduction to their wind tunnel time for this season.

Reports ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix claimed at least two F1 teams broke the cost cap last year, but Sky Sports News understands those allegations are completely unfounded.

The cost cap was introduced for the 2021 season and the current fieldwork is looking at the 2022 season, when the budget cap was $140m. The cap is $135m for this season and the following two campaigns up to and including 2025.

"Last year, Max [Verstappen] damaged one front wing and Checo [Perez] had a crash in Montreal, and again we had a very limited amount of development on the car," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"So we were several million below the cap last year, and because accident damage and development - they're huge costs.

"Obviously this year, the biggest handicap we have is that lack of wind tunnel time, it's significantly less runs in a week than any of our competitors, so we have to be very disciplined on where we focus our development."

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Lewis Hamilton says it is a 'concern' that some teams could be tempted to breach the cost cap rules if the punishments are not enough of a deterrent

On his thoughts about people who think Red Bull haven't been punished enough this year after breaching the cost cap in 2021, Horner answered: "Believe me the lack of wind tunnel time we have compared to our competitors is a massive compromise. If wind tunnels don't count, why don't we get rid of them?

"It's easy to throw shade when you're not performing. It's one of the things in F1 that will always continue to happen. I'm just incredibly proud of the job that our team is doing with the constraints and handicap we have, to be performing at the level we have this year."

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Christian Horner says it was 'incredible' to win 12 races in a row and says it is a joy to work with Max Verstappen, 'a sportsman at the top of his game'

Wolff: We need to stop any breach of the cost cap

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is "concerned" about potential breaches while George Russell says repeat offenders should be punished more harshly.

Toto Wolff says the cost cap auditors are communicating with the teams about their submissions.

"They came back with tonnes of questions to lots of teams and that shows how robust the process is, which is good," said Wolff.

"Strong auditors are beneficial for F1. We need to stop any kind of unintentional or intentional breach of the cost cap. It's like technical and sporting regulations.

Lewis Hamilton topped Practice Three at the Hungarian GP
Image: Lewis Hamilton is "concerned" about potential breaches of the cost cap

"The big teams have thousands of people and various projects - commercial and non-commercial. For us it's a bit easier because we have everything in one entity. The employees are all in one place and you can see where they have been attributed.

"It becomes more complex when you have more variety of subsidiaries. I've never been shy of saying with the 2026 regulations we should get rid of all of that overall.

"In the real world, it's quite a challenge because we are making revenue and money with our engineering projects. That means we cannot assign a person who is working in F1, not even for a minute, into non-F1. But I think it's the right thing to do for the sport to say 'this is F1 and this is not F1'. The moment someone spends 10 seconds on an F1 project you should be fully in F1. That's the way we need to go."

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Sky Sports F1's Craig Slater and David Croft believe it's too early to confirm reports that three teams have breached cost caps rules

FIA respond to cost cap speculation

An FIA spokesperson said: "We would like to reiterate the ongoing process preceding financial regulation certification for the teams - none of which have been informed of their certification status.

"The auditing fieldwork is still ongoing and is scheduled to conclude in the upcoming weeks, after which there will be a period required for the finalisation of the review.

"There is not, and has never been, a specific deadline for certification, and any suggestions of delays to this process or potential breaches are completely unfounded - the Cost Cap Administration will formally communicate its findings according to the procedure set out in the Financial Regulations.

"The timeframe is intentionally not fixed in order not to prejudice the robustness and the effectiveness of the review."

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments throughout the years at the Belgian Grand Prix

Sky Sports F1's live Belgian GP schedule

Thursday July 27
2pm: Drivers' Press Conference

Friday July 28
8.55am: Formula 3 Practice
10am: Formula 2 Practice
12pm: Belgian GP Practice One (session starts 12.30pm)
1.55pm: Formula 3 Qualifying
2.50pm: Formula 2 Qualifying
3.35pm: Belgian GP Qualifying build-up
4pm: Belgian GP Qualifying
6pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

Saturday July 29
8.55am: Formula 3 Sprint Race
10.30am: Belgian GP Sprint Shootout build-up
11am: Belgian GP Sprint Shootout
12.40pm: Formula 2 Sprint Race
2.30pm: Belgian GP Sprint build-up
5pm: Ted's Sprint Notebook

Sunday July 30
7.25am: Formula 3 Feature Race
8.55am: Formula 2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday - Belgian GP build-up
4pm: Chequered Flag - Belgian GP reaction
5pm: Ted's Notebook

Next up is the Belgian GP, the final race before F1's summer break - watch all sessions of the Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from July 28-30. Stream the Belgian GP and more with NOW.

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