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Red Bull chief rejects Hamilton claims about cost cap breaches

Red Bull Racing's team principal Christian Horner. Photo: Erwin Scheriau/APA/AFP

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner on Friday responded vigorously to claims that his team escaped with only a “smack on the wrist” for their cost cap breaches last year.

Irked by comments made by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell, Horner said it is “always easy to throw shade when you are not performing”.

Hamilton had said that the punishment meted out to Red Bull last year was not a sufficient deterrent and suggested teams would continue to break the spending limit because likely sanction was no more than a “smack on the wrist”.

Russell said Red Bull’s punishment, for what was described as a minor over-spending in 2021, did not fit the scale of the crime.

Red Bull were fined seven million dollars and given a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel use this year.

“If wind tunnels don’t count then why don’t we just get rid of them?” Horner told UK broadcaster Sky. “Believe me, the hit we’ve taken with the wind tunnel time compared to our competitors is a massive compromise.”

Red Bull, the champion team, have won every race this year as defending double world champion Max Verstappen has won eight of the ten races, including the last six before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton has not won a race since he claimed his record 103rd in 2021 when, at the final race, he was beaten to what would have been an eighth title by Verstappen in a controversial finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Red Bull will set a new record of 12 consecutive victories if they can win on Sunday. They currently share a record of 11 straight wins with McLaren, who achieved the feat in 1988.

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