Horner denies his porpoising stance is hypocritical

Michelle Foster
Mercedes lines up behind a Red Bull. Bahrain March 2022

Christian Horner says wanting to adjust the budget cap while opposing changes to help teams suffering with porpoising is not hypocritical, they are two different situations.

Red Bull team boss Horner has been one of the most vocal in the paddock when it comes to calling for an increase in this year’s budget cap.

With the budget cap down to $140m and inflation on the rise, the Briton has urged the FIA to make mid-season changes or else warns some teams may not arrive for the final few races of this season.

But while the team boss wants the FIA to tweak that rule, he doesn’t want them to step in when it comes to porpoising.

According to the team boss, inflation is force majeure while porpoising is self-inflicted.

The latter also isn’t a problem for Red Bull whereas the cap is.

Put to him that those who got it wrong with the budget cap want help but don’t want help given to those who got it wrong with porpoising, the 48-year-old insisted it was two different arguments.

Christian Horner looks down the pit lane, Adrian Newey in the background. Miami May 2022

“I think if you inflicted something like that then there is a significant cost attached to it and that comes nowhere else other than the development costs for argument’s sake,” he said as per GPFans.

“What we’re talking about with the cost cap is inflation. In the UK, they’re talking about 11 per cent inflation in the second half of the year.

“That is due to what is going on in the world. It was not predicted, it is a genuine force majeure situation.

“Again, it is something that it is down to the FIA to take the appropriate action otherwise you’re going to have probably seven teams that break the cap in some shape or form by the end of the year.”

Asked whether porpoising could fall under force majeure as well, Horner said: “Not really. It’s two different things. The porpoising is within the control of the team.”

However, if one asks Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur if the cap is within a team’s control, he’d say yes, the Frenchman saying Alfa factored in inflation when they did their 2022 budget and other teams should have done the same.

He also believes teams can turn off their wind tunnels and stopping bringing upgrades to remain within the limit.

That was put to Horner with the Red Bull man replying “certain things” are in the team’s control.

“It’s not about putting a front wing on,” he continued. “It’s about the cost of energy, the cost of inflation, the cost of living, the cost of putting fuel in your car. It’s going up for everybody.

“It’s the supply of parts, it’s the cost of freight, the cost of electrics, of utilities. So there are things you can’t control and that is why I think the majority of teams do feel there’s an issue that needs to be addressed there.”