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today is Dec 06, 2022

Max Verstappen isn’t concerned about criticism his 2021 world championship win may receive in light of the controversy over Red Bull exceeding the budget cap last year.

The FIA announced earlier this month Red Bull was the only team which had exceeded the $145 million spending limit which was imposed last year, and one of three teams which had committed a “procedural” breach of the regulations. The governing body has invited Red Bull to enter an Accepted Breach Agreement under which it would admit to the violation of the rules and accept a penalty.

Claims that Red Bull had breached the cap first surfaced almost a month ago. Verstappen admitted the focus on the topic has been “a bit frustrating.”

He indicated the team may have breached the cap due to a disagreement over what items were and were not included within the limit.

“From our side we feel we are not wrong,” said Verstappen, “but just some things are taken into the budget cap which are very unexpected. We’ll have to deal with it. But it’s also not up to me to decide what is right.”

Red Bull will hold a press conference at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez tomorrow to discuss the budget cap. An agreement between the team and the FIA is believed to be close.

One possible penalty for Red Bull’s breach is a reduction in the number of hours of aerodynamic development work the team is permitted to conduct for the 2023 F1 season. Verstappen refused to be drawn on how significantly that could affect the team. “We don’t know until the things are decided,” he said, “but also these things I’m not involved with.”

Last year’s world championship was decided in a controversial finale in Abu Dhabi when FIA F1 race director Michael Masi broke the rules in arranging a last-lap restart, after which Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton to win the title. Months of recriminations followed during which Masi lost his job and the entire race control set-up was overhauled.

Verstappen expects the same people who questioned his title win last year will also seize upon the budget cap row. “They are sore anyway so it doesn’t matter what they say or what you do,” he said.

“I can [brush it off]. Probably they can’t and they will never be able to so that’s a problem for them to deal with.”

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