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Christian Horner requests ‘blanked by FIA’ as president dodges meeting

FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem has refused requests to meet Christian Horner over Red Bull’s budget cap fiasco, according to journalist Erik van Haren. The reporter for Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf has said Ben Sulayem has “not yet allowed” Horner to speak over the issue despite the Red Bull boss’ willingness. 

The same report claims that communication between the pair has been ‘very difficult’ and that the situation is getting ‘messy’. Van Haren claimed the meeting would take place today. But Journalist Adam Cooper, later tweeted no scheduled meeting between the pair took place and wouldn’t be happening on Friday now.

Horner is understood to have spent more than an hour talking to F1 boss Stefano Domenicali on Thursday. According to the Daily Mail, he was also expected to meet with ben Sulayem after he arrived in Austin on Friday.

It is believed Horner is annoyed at the budget cap fiasco as the overspend was down to a largely untested set of cost cap rules. He was set to speak at a Red Bull press conference this morning to outline Red Bull’s argument.

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However, this was cancelled at the last minute after it emerged Horner could not track down ben Sulayem for talks. It comes after the FIA proposed the terms of an ‘Accepted Breach Agreement’ to Red Bull.

But, to agree to this Red Bull would have to agree it had committed a breach of the regulations. They would also be forced to agree to whatever penalties the FIA have decided upon.

Red Bull would also have to accept any monitoring procedures the FIA demands to keep an eye on the team in the future. If Red Bull do not accept the agreement, the team’s case will be evaluated by the cost cap adjudication panel.

Details of any possible Red Bull penalties are yet to be released but it is expected to be only a minor punishment.

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The team did not breach the budget cap by more than the five per cent threshold determined as a small transgression. It means Red Bull would most likely be hit with a financial penalty such as a hefty fine instead of being slapped with a points deduction.

However, it is understood other teams are pushing for a more severe punishment to act as a deterrent to prevent any further wrongdoing. Former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said: “I personally hope it’s going to be a strict and harsh penalty because it shouldn’t happen – the rules are the rules.

“It shouldn’t be any different with the penalty. Let’s hope it’s a penalty that hurts them.”



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