Horner describes the cost cap “process” between FIA and Red Bull

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Before Red Bull announced they have stopped their cost cap negotiations with the FIA, Christian Horner attempted to describe the “process” the team is currently in.

After the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, the Austrian team announced that discussions with the FIA regarding their 2021 budget cap breach have been “put on hold until further notice”.

The discussions are a part of a “process” Red Bull is in with the FIA, which involves the team basically negotiating whether they will accept a punishment that the governing organization has proposed. The alternative is to formally challenge the FIA’s findings.

At the United States Grand Prix Saturday press conference. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was questioned on where the whole situation stands right now.

“The latest on that is that we are in a process with the FIA,” the Briton said.

“We’re hoping to get closure on that. And at that point in time, then all the facts will be laid on the table and we’ll be able to talk very openly about the cap, and why we feel that our relevant costs are fully in-line.

“We’re in the process, we’re working with the FIA . They’re diligently trying to do their job and hopefully, in the near future, will have a resolution.”

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Horner was then asked if he could give more information on this “process”.

“Well, it’s a new process. I mean, what you have to remember, with these regulations, is that they were introduced, obviously, at a level where the $175 million, it was then reduced by $30 million during the pandemic, it’s a complicated set of regulations.

“It’s 52 pages. And of course we’ve been through that process and 2021 was the first ever year of a set of very complicated financial regulations, which of course, have a varying… interpretations to them from different accounting specialists.

“So obviously, the findings of the FIA have been made public recently. And we’re now in a voluntary process with the FIA, going through that process with them. And I hope you will be able to conclude it in the near future. But that’s where we currently are.”

Asked about the specifics of the “process”, Horner said:

“The process, as per the regulations, is that we’ve been invited to enter into an ABA [Accepted Breach Agreement], which is for a minor breach, and a procedural breach, that you have the opportunity to discuss with the FIA and present your case, your position on this.

“And we’re in that process and have been for the last… pretty much, what, 10 days or so? Going backwards and forwards with the FIA.

“And I hoped for it to be resolved before this weekend. I’m hopeful that it can be resolved during this weekend.

“But should that not happen, the next process is it goes to the cost cap administration panel and then beyond that there’s the International Court of Appeal.

“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,” Horner concluded.

However, considering that the discussions have been stopped for now, this drag on for some time.

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