Embittered Verstappen takes aim at Red Bull cost cap critics: It’s their problem not ours

Max Verstappen labelled Red Bull's critics as sore losers and reaffirmed he doesn't think his team did anything wrong in the F1 2021 title battle with Lewis Hamilton

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A frustrated Max Verstappen slammed critics of his 2021 World Championship win against the backdrop of Red Bull’s cost cap breach, and said he doesn’t think the team did anything wrong to beat Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

He accused those questioning the legitimacy of being sore losers, after also facing criticism for the way he won the title in Abu Dhabi after the FIA found ‘human error’ from race director Michael Masi aided his championship win.

Asked if he could brush off the condemnation, Verstappen told the press: “From my side you can yeah, probably they can’t and they’ll never be able to so, that’s a problem for them to deal with.

“They are sore anyway, it doesn’t matter what you say or what you do.”

However, those who’ve criticised Verstappen have pointed out they wouldn’t have quite so many problems if he’d won with a legally-funded car and without the safety car debacle in Abu Dhabi.

There’s the possibility that Verstappen could lose the title over the cost cap breach, but that’s highly unlikely and Hamilton has already said he’s looking at ways to win future championships rather than claim past ones.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the start of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix | REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

However, although Verstappen said he could brush off the criticism, he did admit he wasn’t entirely unaffected.

“It’s just a bit frustrating,” Verstappen added. “From our side we think we’re not wrong, just some things are taken into the budget cap which are very unexpected but yeah we’ll have to deal with it but it’s also not up to me to decide what is right.”

No comment on possible penalty

Although it’s highly unlikely Verstappen be stripped of his title, one penalty that’s very much on the table is a reduction in wind tunnel test time.

Alongside a reduction in their budget cap for a future season, a wind tunnel penalty is being mooted as a future-facing penalty to hinder their competitiveness in future seasons.

But Verstappen refused to be drawn in and comment on the impact of the penalty, saying: “We don’t know until these things are decided but I’m not involved with these things.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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