Red Bull 'begrudgingly accept' their 'Draconian' punishments – Horner

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Christian Horner says Red Bull "begrudgingly accept" their "Draconian" punishments for breaking budget cap regulations but feels some rival Formula One teams owe them an apology.

Red Bull were on Friday fined $7million (£6.1m) and hit with a 10 per cent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for overspending last year after coming to an 'accepted breach agreement' (ABA) with the FIA.

Motorsport's world governing body the FIA revealed that Red Bull were guilty of spending €2.2m (£1.9m) more than they were permitted to last season, which ended dramatically when Max Verstappen won his first world title.

Along with being slapped with a significant fine, the constructors' champions have also had the amount of time they can spend using their wind tunnel or computational fluid dynamics cut by 10 per cent for a one-year period.

"We could have been looking at a 12-month period to have this situation closed [if they had not accepted the ABA]," Horner said during a press conference at the Mexican Grand Prix.

"The amount of speculation, commenting and sniping that has been going on in the paddock, we felt that it was in everybody's interest – our interest, the FIA's interest, in F1's interest – to say, 'we close the book', and we close the book here and today.

"We accept the penalties, begrudgingly, but we accept them."

Horner says Red Bull will be significantly impacted by the punishment imposed next season.

"The more Draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10 per cent reduction in our ability to utilise our wind tunnel and aerodynamic tools," he added.

"I've heard people reporting today that it's an insignificant amount. Let me tell you now, that is an enormous amount. That represents anywhere between a quarter and half a second of a lap.

"That 10 per cent will have an impact on our ability to perform on track."

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown last week stated that breaches of the budget cap amounted to "cheating", a claim which Red Bull principal Horner labelled "fictitious".

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who was denied a record-breaking eighth world title when Verstappen claimed a dramatic and controversial win at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, warned a "slap on the wrist" for Red Bull would simply encourage further breaches.

Horner does not believe it is Red Bull that should be apologising.

"I think that we're probably due an apology from some of our rivals for some of the claims that they've made," he said.

"We make no apology for the way that we've performed, the way that we've acted. We do take on the chin that there are lessons to be learned, and potentially mistakes have been made in our submission, which with the benefit of hindsight and 20-20 vision, everybody can be a specialist.

"But there was no intent, there was nothing dishonest, and there was certainly no cheating involved, which has been alleged in certain corners. So I don't feel that we need to apologise.

"We've taken our pounding in public, we've taken a very public pounding through the accusations that have been made by other teams. We've had our drivers booed at circuits, and the reputational damage that's been made by allegations has been significant. The time is now for that to stop and move on."