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Ben Sulayem and Red Bull F1 Boss Share Awkward Conversation at FIA Event

Ben Sulayem and Christian Horner bring up the Cost cap and Japan controversies

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

ITALY: At the FIA Prize Giving Gala, Christian Horner received Red Bull’s 2022 F1 Constructors’ Trophy from FIA President Ben Sulayem, but not before having a fun but awkward conversation with the top gun.

Despite Ferrari’s strong start, Red Bull would ultimately take complete control of both F1 titles in 2022.

With four rounds remaining, Max Verstappen won a record 15 races and his second F1 Drivers’ Championship in Japan. Red Bull won 17 of the 22 races for their first F1 constructors’ championship since 2013.

However, despite its dominant performance, Red Bull’s campaign was not entirely smooth.

Their minor overspending in violation of the 2021 cost cap was the primary obstacle they had to overcome.

Red Bull received a $7 million fine after the FIA found the team had breached the cost cap. The team faced heavy backlash and criticism from rival teams.

At one point, Horner threatened legal action against the rival teams if they did not retract statements made in light of the salary cap controversy.

When FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Horner met on stage to hand over the constructors’ title trophy, the ensuing conversation awkwardly addressed the issues.

“This cup has nothing to do with the cost cap,” quipped Ben Sulayem while presenting the trophy to Horner at the event. He added that the FIA wouldn’t “deduct this” from Red Bull’s cost cap because it comes from the FIA.

Horner responded by thanking Ben Sulayem for his generosity. The following joke, which Horner made, only made the situation more awkward. He talked about “conflict” in the distribution of points at the Japanese Grand Prix in his speech.

According to the system implemented in response to the washout of the Belgian Grand Prix in 2021, the drivers would not receive full points after only 28 laps of the Japanese Grand Prix were completed by the drivers in a race affected by rain.

That would have implied that Japanese GP winner Verstappen didn’t score an adequate number of points to clinch the World Championship, yet the screens started showing illustrations proclaiming Verstappen as champion. Everyone, including Verstappen himself, was confused over the developments.

The FIA explained that the rule only applies in the case of an inability to finish a race, which surprised the team, the driver, and nearly everyone else. Verstappen got full points for the race win and became a two-time world drivers’ champion.

Also Read: Dutch GP: Zandvoort Confirmed to Stay in F1 Until the End of 2025

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