Red Bull mocked for cost cap saga as F1 fans applaud Alfa Romeo's crafty social media dig – Express

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Alfa Romeo pounced on the opportunity to poke fun at Red Bull after Guanyu Zhou agonisingly missed out on a Q3 appearance in the United States. F1 fans applauded the sly dig on social media with Red Bull still waiting to formally receive their punishment from the FIA for breaching last season’s budget cap. 
In 2021, the FIA introduced a £114million spending cap to make F1 more financially sustainable and give smaller teams a better chance of challenging the big guns. The end-of-season conclusions stated that Red Bull were guilty of a ‘minor’ breach, meaning anything up to a £5.7m overspend. 
Fans and competitors have been left frustrated at a lack of progress on the nature of the punishment, with the FIA yet to formally announce their next course of action. Christian Horner held talks with president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Friday but the final judgment is not due to be released until next week. 
Red Bull were outdone by Ferrari on Saturday with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc posting the two fastest times in qualifying. Meanwhile, it was a strong showing from Alfa Romeo as Valtteri Bottas battled into Q3 and he was almost joined by Zhou, but for a track limits infringement that saw his flying lap time deleted. 
JUST IN: Red Bull release new cost cap statement after Horner meets FIA chief at US Grand Prix
Christian Horner Guanyu Zhou
In a poorly-concealed effort to take aim at Red Bull, the official Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN Twitter account wrote: “That was a minor breach of the track limit regulations.” Fans immediately latched onto the jibe, including @haha_no_inori, who said: “Alfa Romeo admin woke up and chose violence.”
Meanwhile, @Wizza150 added: “Alfa Romeo stating exactly what the whole world think at this present moment!!” Elsewhere, @billy_mujana poked fun at the lengthy negotiation process between Red Bull and the FIA, writing: “Please negotiate with the FIA for the next 3 weeks so they find a suitable arrangement/punishment at your convenience.”
A series of penalties have shaken up the official starting grid before Sunday’s Grand Prix. Bottas benefitted from the rearrangement as he shot up to P7, while Zhou was on the wrong end of a penalty for taking on new power unit components and he lines up on the back row alongside Nicholas Latifi. 
As for Red Bull, Max Verstappen starts on the front row alongside Carlos Sainz, despite posting the third-fastest time on Saturday. Perez, who accepted a penalty for the same reason as Zhou, starts in P9. 
With Verstappen’s second world title all wrapped up, plenty of attention is on Red Bull’s cost cap saga with Horner and Zak Brown going head to head in a tense press conference in Austin after the McLaren boss wrote a letter about ‘cheating’ to the FIA this month. 
Zak Brown Christian Horner
“Zak’s letter was tremendously disappointing,” Horner told reporters while Brown sat alongside him. “For a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating, to accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking.
“It is absolutely shocking that another competitor, without the facts or without any knowledge of the details, can be making those kinds of accusations. We have been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore and the rhetoric of ‘cheats’ was slung about as if we had had an enormous benefit.”
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