Talks between Red Bull and the FIA were put on hold following Dietrich Mateschitz's death but team expected to resume before this weekend's Mexico City GP; Horner promises "transparency" wants cost cap scandal is concluded
Wednesday 26 October 2022 09:19, UK
Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists his team want "closure" as soon as possible following their Formula 1 cost cap breach and has vowed full transparency once there is a resolution with the FIA, with talks set to resume before this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix.
The newly-crowned constructors' champions had been in discussions with the FIA in the lead-up to the United States GP after being accused of a 'minor' breach of 2021's $145m spending limit, although talks were put on hold following the death of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz on Saturday.
Red Bull said the deadline for an 'accepted breach agreement' [ABA] with the FIA had therefore been extended, and that they expect talks to pick back up before the Mexico City GP.
An ABA would see the team accept wrongdoing - despite their insistence they have followed the rules and that their initial submission was below the cap - although would likely lead to a lesser penalty.
An announcement was expected at the United States GP before talks were suspended, and so there could feasibly be developments early on in the Mexico weekend - which Horner and the team would welcome.
"I'm certainly hopeful that there can be closure on this in the very near future," the Red Bull team principal told Sky Sports F1 before the news of Mateschitz's passing on Saturday.
The full range of punishments would not be on the table if Red Bull agree to an ABA, with rumours swirling in Austin that the FIA had offered Red Bull a fine and a reduction in aerodynamic testing for next year.
If Red Bull do not accept that, more severe penalties such as points deductions are possible, if unlikely, while it could also significantly extend the process and clarity on Max Verstappen's 2021 title-winning campaign.
"The next process is it goes to the cost cap administration panel and then beyond that there's the International Court of Appeal," said Horner. "So, it could draw it out for another six, nine months, which is not our intention.
"We want closure on 2021. I think that we've had some healthy and productive discussions with the FIA, and I'm hopeful of being able to reach a conclusion in the near future."
Sky Sports understands Red Bull were found to be $1.8m over the cap - despite their initial submission back in March being $4.5m under the required limit.
Red Bull maintain that their "relevant costs are compliant", with the team disputing unused spare parts - which are thought to have been a big factor in pushing them into a minor breach - being included.
Horner said that "there are many lessons to be learned from" the first year of F1's cost cap enforcement and the FIA had been "taken by surprise" by the scale of the job. He was also critical of the sport's governing body for not giving more feedback during the process on their submissions.
He has promised "complete transparency" once the process has concluded and says there will not be a repeat of a "secret deal" - like when Ferrari and the FIA reached a "settlement" amid engine legality suspicions in 2019.
"I will talk you through the reasoning behind our submission and the position that we had, as to why we felt that each of the line items that have been challenged we believe there's a contrary position," said Horner.
"It should be transparent. The whole thing should be transparent. There's going to be no private, secret deal."