With a punishment yet to be handed down to Red Bull for their breach of the 2021 season’s cost cap, and no clarity on the exact amount they spent over, fans have been left to speculate by how much they broke the rules.
It’s led to those openly speculating whether driver Max Verstappen should be stripped of his 2021 World Drivers Championship – with some going so far as publicly mocking him.
Fans at the Circuit of the Americas booed Verstappen during what seemed to be a fan event, with them promptly following that up with chants of ‘cheater’ tossed his way.
World Champion Max Verstappen was booed and called a cheater at an event at COTA
This just happened 😳 #USGP #AustinGP pic.twitter.com/AycEzn0zSp
While the findings indicate what may amount to an unfair advantage, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says they didn’t gain an advantage from breaching the cap and had a particularly strong reaction to a fellow team leader’s words.
Horner had an emotionally charged rant against McLaren CEO Zak Brown in response to a letter Brown wrote to the FIA last week saying this breach, ‘constitutes cheating’. During the tirade, the Red Bull boss laid into Brown, all while sitting next to him, and all the other competing bosses who believe the team should be punished.
‘It’s tremendously disappointing for a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating; to accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking. It’s absolutely shocking that another competitor without the facts, without any knowledge of the details, can be making that kind of accusation.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called out opponents asking for them to face punishments
‘We’ve been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore; the rhetoric of cheats, the rhetoric that we’ve had this enormous benefit. Numbers have been put out in the media that are miles out of reality.’
Verstappen has previously shown his anger at the calls for him to be demoted back to a one-time World Drivers Champion, calling detractors ‘hypocritical’.
‘They try to slow us down in any way possible. At the end of the day that’s how Formula 1 works. Everyone is a bit hypocritical but I’m fine with that. We just have to focus on our job,’ the Dutchman said.
‘Nothing has been confirmed yet but as a team we know what we have to deal with and we are very clear with what we think is correct.’
Verstappen won his latest FIA Formula One World Drivers Championship at Suzuka this year
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group