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Horner levels "held to ransom" accusation at smaller F1 teams

Horner levels "held to ransom" accusation at smaller F1 teams

Horner levels "held to ransom" accusation at smaller F1 teams

Horner levels "held to ransom" accusation at smaller F1 teams

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed F1's top teams are being "held to ransom" by its smaller rivals over the ongoing dispute around a budget cap raise.

Horner has been calling for urgent action on increasing the threshold of the budget cap in order to counteract the effects of rising cargo costs and inflation, with the Russian-Ukrainian war a leading cause.

Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are all set to exceed the budget cap limit but it is understood at least three teams are yet to agree to any alterations.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto revealed a five per cent threshold that teams will be able to exploit with a minor penalty incurred.

But Horner warned: "What we don't want to end up doing, with the five per cent threshold for a minor breach, what is the penalty for the minor breach?

"What we don't want to end up doing is end up playing a game of chicken and say does he go to 4.9 [per cent] over? Do we go to 4.7 over? That could be one upgrade that could be the differentiating factor of this world championship.

"What we do need is clarity and clarity quickly because quite simply, it is not right to be held to ransom by a couple of teams that perhaps aren't affected because that was never the design of the budget cap.

"The budget cap was there to limit the top teams from a spending frenzy."

Horner - Teams need FIA to take action

The budget cap is set at $140million this year, deduced by $5m from last year and scheduled to drop to $135m from next season for a period of three years, although the figures were set during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Explaining why action is needed, Horner said: "None of us could predict when we came up with the budget cap figures which, as you will remember, was reduced by $30million dollars from where it was originally set during the pandemic and when we sat around and agreed those figures, nobody could have even contemplated world events that were driving inflation.

"We don't even know what that inflation is going to be in the second half of the year. We are all seeing the cost of living rising and we are seeing utility bills going through the roof. Where is that going to go in the next six months?

"We do need the FIA to take early action on this because we are coming up to the mid-year point and there is only so much we can do."

Additional reporting by Ian Parkes

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