F1 fans slam ‘delusional’ Horner over mental disorder after McLaren made allegations of cheating in a press conference

An irate Christian Horner says he is “shocked and appalled” that McLaren boss Zak Brown has accused his team of cheating, saying the allegation led to children of Red Bull employees being bullied at school.

But Horner’s response has drawn backlash on social media, with F1 fans calling him a hypocrite, “arrogant” and “delusional” for using children’s mental health to distract attention from Red Bull’s spending breach.

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Horner sat alongside Brown on Saturday in a fiery press conference set to preview Sunday’s United States Grand Prix – the first race since Max Verstappen won his second world title.

Instead, it focused on the series of cost caps that Formula 1 has gobbled up.

Red Bull surpassed last year’s $202 million budget cap as the team carried Verstappen to his controversial title win against Lewis Hamilton.

Although F1’s governing body, the FIA, has yet to confirm how much Red Bull has overspent, the figure is believed to be $3.2 million.

Earlier this week, Brown wrote to FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, saying a financial breach “constitutes fraud”.

“Obviously, Zak’s letter is hugely disappointing,” said Red Bull team boss Horner.

“It’s shocking when a competitor accuses you of fraud and fraudulent activity.

The Red Bull racing team practices pit stops ahead of the USA F1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Recognition: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

“It is absolutely shocking that another competitor would make such allegations without any facts or knowledge of the details.

“We have been in court on public allegations since the Singapore Grand Prix (October 2nd) with rhetoric of fraud and rhetoric that we had this tremendous advantage.

“Numbers have been published in the media that are miles from reality and are damaging to the brand, our partners, our drivers and our workforce.

“At a time when mental health is rampant, we see significant issues within our workforce.

“Children are bullied in playgrounds because they are children of Red Bull employees. This is not correct and is based on fabricated claims made by other teams without any fact or substance.

“We are absolutely appalled by this behavior. We were effectively abused for three weeks. It’s just not right and it has to stop.”

F1 fans vented on Twitter following these comments, writing: “How on earth can Christian Horner (his) use the mental health card… what an arrogant jerk he is.”

Another wrote: “Did I just see Christian Horner speaking out about the ‘mental health’ of his team members? There is no difference between him and a 🐍. Here was a man who inspired hatred towards Lewis for last year’s Silverstone crash. He didn’t give a damn about LH’s feelings and sanity.”

Red Bull have been offered an Accepted Breach Agreement by the FIA, with it being understood both financial and sporting sanctions are on the table.

Such a deal, which involved a back-and-forth between Horner and Ben Sulayem here in Austin, would result in Red Bull losing any right of appeal.

Red Bull could still challenge the FIA’s decision. Your case would then be heard by a panel of independent judges, while a final option would be the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.

However, either move would see the team risk a harsher punishment – with the possible deduction of last season’s constructors’ points – and ensure the dispute lasted for several months.

Max Verstappen launches a tirade against his own team after a crucial mistake.

Max Verstappen launches a tirade against his own team after a crucial mistake.

https://7news.com.au/sport/f1/f1-fans-slam-delusional-horner-for-mental-health-deflection-after-mclaren-dials-up-cheating-claim-in-press-conference-c-8630908 F1 fans slam ‘delusional’ Horner over mental disorder after McLaren made allegations of cheating in a press conference

James Brien

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