As investigations into each teams’ accounts submissions draws to a close, with the FIA expected to certify their submissions next week, rumours of overspending have begun to circulate, with the Red Bull name being linked to a potential cost cap breach.
Despite the rumours, both Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal and Helmut Marko, the team’s advisor have maintained their submission is within the limit and that the investigation process is ongoing.
“We’re certainly not aware of any [breaches],” Horner said when asked about the rumours by Sky F1. “The accounts are all submitted way back in March, so it’s been a long process with the FIA going through and we’re in that process as we speak.
“They’re rightly following that process. I think mid next week is when they declare their certificates.”
Horner continues to confirm Red Bull’s submission of their accounts was below the cap. The Red Bull man seemed content when saying the job was now in the hands of the FIA.
“Certainly our submission was below the cap and it’s down to the FIA obviously to follow their process, which they’re currently doing.”
The Red Bull man continued to discuss the complexity of the new financial regulations before doubling down that he is confident in the submission made by his team.
“It’s a brand new set of regulations, and a set of very complicated regulations,” he said. “How rules are interpreted and applied is inevitably going to be subjective between the teams and I’m sure as the years go by, things will be tidied up.
“We’re confident in our submission and as I said, the FIA are in a process. I think there’s always going to be rumours. I’ve heard of major breaches and whatever, I’m certainly not aware of that.
"There's an awful lot of rumours and gossip, we know where most of that permeates from. [The FIA] haven't issued certificates of compliance to anybody yet. There's a lot of conjecture about Red Bull but that could well be about four or five teams in the pit lane"
While Horner exudes an air of confidence over the matter, Helmut Marko seemed less willing to openly discuss the alleged breach when grilled by Sky Germany, with the Austrian hitting out at the FIA who he says claim do not know how the information became public.
“It is an ongoing process, ongoing discussions where certain points are clarified. We are not very worried at the moment. It's just surprising that this was made public.
“Various accountants from the FIA are with our accountants and then a discussion arises about positions, who works where,” Marko explained. “We have different companies: RB Advanced Technologies, RB Technology, RB Powertrains, & you have to separate them very clearly.”
When asked outright whether Red Bull had breached the cost cap, Marko offered a cagey reply of “From our point of view, no,” although he did say he wishes not to discuss it as it is an ongoing matter.
“Like I said before, it is an ongoing process. There are points in the budget that do not belong in it, as already mentioned people are listed who work in the other companies [which I mentioned earlier].
“The FIA says they don‘t know [how this became public]. But it‘s weird that points from an ongoing process, which haven‘t been newly clarified yet, were made public. It‘s damaging to reputation."