Horner makes Red Bull ‘cheap target’ claim as he slams Sky comments

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Christian Horner has claimed his Red Bull team are a ‘cheap target’ for critics after they snubbed interviews with Sky Sports over the weekend. Despite another dominant weekend for the team in Mexico, which saw Max Verstappen notch a record breaking 14th Grand Prix win of the season and Sergio Perez finish third, the race was overshadowed by their feud with the broadcasters.

Horner and co were last week handed a £6 million fine and a 10% reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for 2023, after being found to have breached budget cap regulations in 2023. Despite the findings, the Team Principal has continued to be bullish, insisting his team’s submissions were within the rules and accusing rival teams of trying to exacerbate the issue to distract away from Verstappen’s on-track success.

However, many believe Red Bull got off lightly, having called for the Dutchman to be stripped of his 2021 title. The credibility of that triumph was already questioned in many quarters, following the dubious finish to the season finale in Abu Dhabi which saw Verstappen gifted the chance to overtake Lewis Hamilton on the final lap and be crowned champion.

Following the US Grand Prix last week, Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz was blunt about what transpired at the Yas Marina, twice arguing that Hamilton was “robbed” of last year’s title. This led to Red Bull snubbing Sky at the Mexican GP, despite Horner regularly speaking to the broadcaster live during race weekends.

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But the 48-year-old, who said Red Bull were unhappy with ‘a series of derogatory comments’ made by Sky, explained why he felt avoiding them was necessary: “Red Bull are a cheap target sometimes,” he said. “There have been a couple of issues during the course of the year that we have addressed but as far as we are concerned we have said our piece and that is it.”

He also claimed Verstappen had been adversely affected by the furore, adding: “Max was very upset about it and as a team, we support him fully and are equally upset about it. So as a team, I took the decision that we will have a weekend off.

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The stance is set to be a short one though, with Horner revealing the team will communicate with Sky at the Brazil Grand Prix: “The next race, service will be resumed,” he said.

“But we just wanted to lay down a marker and say that things aren’t acceptable and as a team, we stand together and we stand united. Accusations of the championship being robbed, we don’t think is an impartial commentary so obviously that is something we don’t feel in any way fair or balanced.”

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