Horner says that, unlike Ferrari, there will be no “secret deal” between Red Bull and the FIA. As talks between Red Bull and the FIA resume this weekend in Mexico over the Milton Keynes-based team’s breach of the budget cap for the 2021 season, Christian Horner has promised fans full transparency over the outcome whilst pointing the finger at rival team Ferrari for their secretive deal two years ago.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists his team wants to close the 2021 season as soon as possible after the FIA confirmed a cost cap breach by his team last season and has promised full transparency as talks with the FIA are due to resume ahead of this weekend’s Mexico Grand Prix.
Last week the Red Bull team held talks with the FIA and Christian Horner met with the governing body’s president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in Austin. However, these talks were suspended following the death of Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz on Saturday.
Red Bull, which has been offered a special agreement by the FIA, but the details of which have remained secret up to this point, has said the deadline to accept or not accept the deal has been extended and that talks will resume this weekend in Mexico City.
Christian Horner is insisting his team will play the transparency card once the process is complete and says there will be no repeat of a “secret deal” – such as when Ferrari and the FIA reached a “deal” amid suspicions over the legality of the Ferrari engine in 2019.
No secret ‘deal’ with the FIA
“The next process is to go to the Cost Cap Administration Committee and then beyond that there is the International Court of Appeal. So it could go on for another six or nine months, which is not our intention,” Horner told Sky Sports.
“We want to close 2021. I think we had healthy and productive discussions with the FIA [in Austin], and I hope we can reach a conclusion in the near future. It should be transparent. Everything will be transparent, there will be no private or secret agreement.”
The secret agreement Horner refers to is the one between Ferrari and the FIA in 2019. It will be remembered that in 2019 Ferrari was suspected of cheating by its competitors [Red Bull], who felt that the Italian team was breaking fuel flow regulations.
According to Red Bull, this would have allowed Ferrari to gain engine power and display a cheeky laying speed on the straights. The FIA decided to send technical guidelines to all teams to remind them of the regulations, but doubts remained about the Ferrari engine.
The FIA, therefore, decided to launch its own technical investigations into the Ferrari engine and agreed a number of technical commitments with the Italian team to improve the monitoring of the power units from the 2020 season onwards.
“The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula One power units for the coming seasons and championships and will assist the FIA in other regulatory tasks in Formula One and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels,” the Motor Sport Federation announced on the final day of winter testing in Barcelona.
“After extensive technical investigations, the FIA has completed its analysis of Scuderia Ferrari’s engine operation and has reached an agreement with the team. The details of the agreement will remain between the parties.”
After making this secret agreement with the FIA, Scuderia Ferrari went through a long period of inactivity for two seasons…
Red Bull/FIA case: an announcement expected this Friday in Mexico
The FIA will announce this Friday what sanction(s) the Red Bull team will face after being found guilty of a “minor” overshoot of F1’s budget cap in the 2021 season.
The day after the Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA published the findings of its review of Formula One teams’ financial bids for the 2021 financial year and Red Bull was found by the governing body to have exceeded the team’s budget cap by a “minor amount”. The Aston Martin team was also cited for a “procedural failure” but the British manufacturer’s team did comply with the budget cap.
The Cost Cap Administration was then asked to determine the appropriate course of action under the financial regulations in relation to the Red Bull case and therefore gave itself a few more days to make a decision on whether to impose a financial or sporting penalty on Red Bull.
On Thursday several sources including Racer reported that Red Bull, Aston Martin and the FIA have finally reached an agreement by signing an Accepted Default Agreement (ABA) and their sanctions are expected to be announced on Friday. The governing body is expected to publish full details of the proceedings.
The announcement comes a little later than expected, not least because talks between Red Bull and the FIA have been temporarily suspended following the death on Saturday of Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of the energy drink company.
A press conference with Christian Horner has been scheduled for 11.30am local time in Mexico City on Friday, just before the opening laps of the Mexican Grand Prix.