Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has praised the FIA for their "robust" decision to punish Red Ball for breaching the Formula One cost cap.

The constructor have been fined $7million and handed a 10 per cent reduction in permitted aerodynamic allowance for the next year after they were found guilty of breaching the sport's budget cap.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner called the punishments "Draconian", but acknowledged the team would accept them, having protested their innocence over the past few months.

Wolff was satisfied to see the sport's governing body come down on their rival for their offence, though he suggested sanctions could perhaps have been even tougher.

"I think the most important thing for me is there is a robust governance," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"They didn't bat an eyelid, they just followed the process.

"I know how rigorous they were with us, all throughout the year - that was a difficult process. It is good to see that there is a penalty, whether we deem it too low or too high."

Wolff shut down any suggestion that a lenient penalty could tempt Mercedes to commit their own breaches though, stating the whole affair had tarnished Red Bull's brand.

"I think what you see beyond the sporting penalty and financial fine, there is also a reputational damage," he added.

"In a world of transparency and good governance, that is just not on any more.

"Compliance-wise, whatever team you are, you are responsible for representing your brand, your employees, your partners. That's why, for us, it wouldn't be a business case."

Christian Horner says Red Bull "begrudgingly accept" their "Draconian" punishments for breaking budget cap regulations but feels some rival Formula One teams owe them an apology.

Red Bull were on Friday fined $7million (£6.1m) and hit with a 10 per cent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for overspending last year after coming to an 'accepted breach agreement' (ABA) with the FIA.

Motorsport's world governing body the FIA revealed that Red Bull were guilty of spending €2.2m (£1.9m) more than they were permitted to last season, which ended dramatically when Max Verstappen won his first world title.

Along with being slapped with a significant fine, the constructors' champions have also had the amount of time they can spend using their wind tunnel or computational fluid dynamics cut by 10 per cent for a one-year period.

"We could have been looking at a 12-month period to have this situation closed [if they had not accepted the ABA]," Horner said during a press conference at the Mexican Grand Prix.

"The amount of speculation, commenting and sniping that has been going on in the paddock, we felt that it was in everybody's interest – our interest, the FIA's interest, in F1's interest – to say, 'we close the book', and we close the book here and today.

"We accept the penalties, begrudgingly, but we accept them."

Horner says Red Bull will be significantly impacted by the punishment imposed next season.

"The more Draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10 per cent reduction in our ability to utilise our wind tunnel and aerodynamic tools," he added.

"I've heard people reporting today that it's an insignificant amount. Let me tell you now, that is an enormous amount. That represents anywhere between a quarter and half a second of a lap.

"That 10 per cent will have an impact on our ability to perform on track."

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown last week stated that breaches of the budget cap amounted to "cheating", a claim which Red Bull principal Horner labelled "fictitious".

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who was denied a record-breaking eighth world title when Verstappen claimed a dramatic and controversial win at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, warned a "slap on the wrist" for Red Bull would simply encourage further breaches.

Horner does not believe it is Red Bull that should be apologising.

"I think that we're probably due an apology from some of our rivals for some of the claims that they've made," he said.

"We make no apology for the way that we've performed, the way that we've acted. We do take on the chin that there are lessons to be learned, and potentially mistakes have been made in our submission, which with the benefit of hindsight and 20-20 vision, everybody can be a specialist.

"But there was no intent, there was nothing dishonest, and there was certainly no cheating involved, which has been alleged in certain corners. So I don't feel that we need to apologise.

"We've taken our pounding in public, we've taken a very public pounding through the accusations that have been made by other teams. We've had our drivers booed at circuits, and the reputational damage that's been made by allegations has been significant. The time is now for that to stop and move on."

Aston Martin have been fined €450,000 (£388,830) after being found in breach of Formula One financial regulations for the 2021 season.

Motorsport's world governing body the FIA announced earlier this month that an audit determined Aston Martin and Red Bull – who were hit with a €7million (£6.1m) fine on Friday – broke the rules during the 2021 reporting period.

Aston Martin's financial documentation claimed their costs were under the budget cap, but the team was found to have misrepresented their outgoings.

In a statement, the FIA revealed Aston Martin "incorrectly excluded and/or adjusted costs" relating to the construction of their "new headquarters, new F1 simulator, wind tunnel fees, R&D tax credit, a signing bonus cost, use of transferable components, used inventories, service desk costs, cost of catering services at their headquarters, costs of desks and chairs, sponsor services and outsourced personnel services".

Aston Martin subsequently entered into an Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) with the FIA, meaning they must pay a fine within 30 days and reimburse costs incurred by the administrators who conducted the financial review.

Announcing the ABA, the FIA said: "The Cost Cap Administration recognised that AMR [Aston Martin] has acted cooperatively and in good faith throughout the review process and has sought to provide additional information and evidence when requested in a timely manner, that this is the first year of the full application of the Financial Regulations and that there is no accusation or evidence that AMR has sought or obtained any undue advantage as a result of the breach."

With Aston Martin entering an ABA, there is no possibility for the team to appeal their fine and the matter is now closed.

 

 Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell is set to go up against some of the best drivers in the world when the fourth leg of 2022/2023 Nitro Rallycross Championship gets underway in Los Angeles, California this weekend, October 29 and 30.

SportsMax will carry the action live.

On October 2, the 24-year-old McConnell crashed and rolled during third-leg of Group E qualifying in Minneapolis but recovered to finish third.

Standing in his way for top honours this weekend will be Robin Larsson and Andreas Bakkerud, who have 160 and 141 points, respectively, to occupy first and second place. McConnell is third in the standings with 114 points.

Hel looks forward to the challenge at the iconic Glen Helen Raceway, where cars fly and the track thrills.

“Glen Helen is a track I enjoyed last year. It’s super-fast and almost 100 per cent dirt with eight or nine jumps, so you have to ensure you’re timing the speed right so that when you land, you get as much downhill of the speed as you can,” he said.

“My job is to ensure the car is making the gaps. I can’t wait to get out there.”

 The 2022-23 NITRO Rallycross Championship will see action over 10 legs across the USA, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. The series runs from June 2022 to March 2023.

Red Bull have been fined $7million and have been hit with a 10 per cent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research for breaking Formula One budget cap regulations.

Motorsport's world governing body the FIA revealed that Red Bull were guilty of spending £1.86m more than they were permitted to last season, which ended dramatically when Max Verstappen won his first world title.

The FIA on Friday confirmed the sanctions imposed on the constructors’ champions after the Red Bull Racing accepted breaking the rules.

It was taken into account by the FIA that Red Bull Racing had "acted cooperatively throughout" what was the first review process under F1 financial regulations.

Alpine have won their appeal against a penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso following the United States Grand Prix, meaning his points for a seventh-place finish have been restored.

A dramatic race for the Spaniard involved his car sustaining significant damage after a collision with Lance Stroll  saw the Alpine rear up and hit roadside barriers, forcing him to pit for repairs.

The Haas team launched a protest after Alonso lost his right-hand mirror late in the race, and a 30-second punishment saw him fall to 15th place in the race standings.

The post-race complaint from Haas came, according to Alpine, some 24 minutes after the deadline for making such claims.

Now Alpine have succeeded in getting the penalty overturned by governing body the FIA, with two-time champion Alonso recovering the six points he achieved in Austin.

Ahead of this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix, Alpine said in a statement: "BWT Alpine F1 Team thanks the FIA stewards for convening and reaching a positive conclusion on the matter involving car #14 from last weekend's United States Grand Prix.

"The team welcomes the decision made by the aforementioned stewards, whereby car #14 reinstates its seventh-place finish and six points from the race. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work alongside the FIA to ensure the racing spectacle is maintained to the highest quality. The team now looks forward to competing this weekend at the Mexico City Grand Prix."

Alonso sits ninth in this year's drivers' standings, one place behind team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Before the FIA appeal result was known, Alonso said on Thursday: "It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me on Sunday: I started at the back, then we were like P6, we had the accident; last again; and then finishing P7, and then in the evening, again out of the points. So it was up and down all day long."

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he will sign a new contract to remain with his "family" Mercedes.

Hamilton ended speculation that he could quit Formula One last year by agreeing a new deal until the end of the 2023 season.

The Brit, who turns 38 in January, is set to continue driving for the Silver Arrows in his 40s.

He said ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix this weekend: "We are going to do another deal. We are going to sit down and discuss it in these next couple of months."

The seven-time F1 world champion added: "I want to keep racing. I love what I do. I've been doing it for 30 years, and I don't feel that I should have to stop. I think I am currently still earning my keep. I still want to do better.

"I could stop now and I have lots of other things in the pipeline that I will be super-focused and super-busy with. I'm here for the sheer love of working in the organisation that I'm in.

"So you are stuck with me for quite a bit longer."

Hamilton suffered the agony of missing out on a record eighth world title when Max Verstappen dramatically overtook him on the last lap of the final race of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.

Following the controversy of the climax to last season, Hamilton could finish the current campaign without winning a race for the first time in his illustrious F1 career. 

Despite a difficult year, he has not lost his hunger and wants to repay the faith Mercedes have shown in him.

"My goal is to continue to be with Mercedes. I've been with Mercedes since I was 13. It really is my family.

"Mercedes-Benz have stuck with me through thick and thin. They stuck with me through being expelled at school. They stuck with me through everything that was going on through 2020.

"They've stuck with me through my mistakes and through the ups and downs."

Max Verstappen has seen numerous records fall his way this season and one of the most illustrious is up for grabs this weekend in Mexico, where a victory would take him to 14 for the season.

Such a win would see him become the driver to have won the most races in a single season, having joined Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel on 13 with his success in the United States.

That triumph was his ninth this season without starting in pole, surpassing Lewis Hamilton (eight) for the most such wins in a single campaign, and will be full of confidence given a stellar record in Mexico - where he has prevailed three times (2018, 2019, 2021). Verstappen and Jim Clark share the record for the most Mexican Grand Prix wins.

Red Bull also have a team record in their sight, having now won eight races in a row to stand one shy of the nine victories in a row they secured in 2013, which is the sixth-longest winning streak for a team in F1 history.

While Verstappen and Red Bull are in search of further records, Lewis Hamilton is looking to avoid one as he is still in search of his first victory in 2022 and the Mercedes driver was strong in the United States.

The British driver has never finished a Formula One season in his career without a race win and has just three grands prix to ensure that this is not the year when he stands winless for the first time.

Much of the attention will continue to be off the track, however, with Red Bull's cost-cap breach in 2021 yet to be resolved and dominating the discussions, though a final outcome should be right around the corner.

Pole variety

The Mexican Grand Prix has seen 10 different racers on pole position in the last 10 editions, a record that will almost certainly be extended after qualifying on Saturday as 2021 pole sitter Valtteri Bottas is now at Alfa Romeo.

The last driver to win consecutive pole positions in this race was Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 1989.

Leclerc's late change

Charles Leclerc was Max Verstappen's biggest threat early in the season but a plethora of problems derailed the title ambitions of the Ferrari driver, with mistakes, bad luck and mechanical issues all plaguing his performances.

Some consistency has been found recently, however, with Leclerc finishing on the podium in each of his last five Formula One races – his longest such run in his career.

Audi and Sauber have announced their partnership in Formula One, which will see the team race as a factory entrant from 2026.

Confirmation of Audi's move into Formula One had been announced earlier this year and it was long expected that the Swiss team would become the home for the German car giant.

Wednesday's announcement sets out the future for the Sauber team, who see their branding deal with Alfa Romeo expire at the end of 2023 and will have two further seasons with Ferrari as an engine supplier before the unification with Audi.

Formula One's engine supplier regulations have been adapted from 2026 onwards, encouraging new entrants to come forward, and Audi is among them alongside sister company Porsche, who are looking for a partnership of their own on the grid.

Finn Rausing, the chairman of Sauber Holding, said in a statement: "Audi is the best partner for the Sauber Group. It is clear that both companies share the same values and vision. We are looking forward to achieving our common goals with a strong and successful partnership."

Christian Horner hailed Red Bull's first Formula One constructors' title since 2013 as a fitting tribute to Dietrich Mateschitz, saying the late team owner "would have been very proud".

Team principal Horner saw Max Verstappen land a record-equalling 13th win of the season at the United States Grand Prix, and that meant Red Bull's team success for 2022 was assured.

Verstappen, already crowned drivers' champion, shook off the frustration of an extended pit stop with 20 laps remaining by delivering a terrific performance to pip Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes, led by Hamilton's excellence, reeled off eight consecutive constructors' championships from 2014 to 2021, but now Red Bull are back on top, having previously strung together four titles from 2010 to 2013, in the Sebastian Vettel era.

The death of Mateschitz at the age of 78 was announced on Saturday.

Horner said: "It's been a hugely emotional weekend and that was the best possible way we could have won that race. Dietrich would have been very proud of that.

"To win the constructors' championship after eight years [without it] is incredible."

Commending Verstappen after the 25-year-old joined Michael Schumacher and Vettel as the only drivers to win 13 races in an F1 season, Horner told Sky Sports: "He just got his head down, and I thought there was only going to be one outcome of that race.

"There's a hunger within him that I've never seen in another driver. As he's growing and maturing, he's reading races incredibly well.

"He was obviously pretty upset after the pit stop but very quickly got his emotions in check, got his head down and paced himself so he didn't burn his tyres up, and was then able to get the passes done."

Mateschitz also owned the AlphaTauri team – previously Toro Rosso – and his death comes with Red Bull back where he wanted them, at the very summit of Formula One.

"I think this means everything to us," Horner said. "Dietrich was a very private man, but he was passionate about life and passionate about sport, and he had a dream which was to have a Formula One team and in the end he had two.

"He gave us all an opportunity, he believed in us, he backed us. This is for him, we're tremendously grateful for everything that he's done, for us as individuals, as a team, and we're going to celebrate in his honour tonight.

"He was a reclusive guy but when he turned up he'd be straight in the garage, there were no airs and graces to him, he was just one of the guys.

"I'm so happy he got to see Max retain the drivers' [title] in Japan, and the constructors', that's been a big one as well. We've never lost hope or never stopped fighting or believing in ourselves, so to be able to come back and do this is testament to every man and woman in the team, in the company.

"His legacy lives on, he empowered us to go and make an engine for the future. He was looking into the future and whilst he's not here in person, he's here in spirit and his spirit and the Red Bull spirit will live on."

Max Verstappen conjured a masterful drive to win the United States Grand Prix and deliver the constructors' title in style for a Red Bull team in mourning.

Setting aside his anger over a pit stop that went wrong 20 laps from the finish, Verstappen plotted a path past his rivals, overtaking Lewis Hamilton late on before streaking to victory.

Already the Formula One drivers' champion, Verstappen dedicated the team success to Dietrich Mateschitz, the team owner whose death at the age of 78 was announced on Saturday.

Speaking moments after his triumph at the Circuit of the Americas, Verstappen said: "It was a tough one. It was all looking good, but then the pit stop was a bit longer than we would have liked so I had to fight myself forward again. But we gave it everything out there today.

"Of course, it's a very difficult weekend for us, so this one is dedicated to Dietrich himself, what he has done for everyone. The only thing we could do today was win and even though after the pit stop it was not looking great, I gave it everything out there, and I pushed to the limit to come back.

"We had a big chance to win the constructors' here, and of course you want to do that in style, and I think we did that today.

"It definitely means a lot to me and to the team because he was so important to the whole team, so instrumental, and of course it will all continue, but we really wanted to have a good result today and this is of course amazing."

Hamilton had been hoping to give Mercedes a first race win of the year, but he could not fend off the advancing Verstappen, and once the Dutchman was past him, the result was all but a foregone conclusion.

There was cause for optimism for Hamilton, though, and the Silver Arrows should be serious contenders again in the remaining three races.

Hamilton said: "I want to give a big shout-out to my team. We came here with upgrades, we closed the gap a little bit, we were so, so close. I did everything I could to stay ahead, but they were just a little bit too quick today.

"But great strategy, great race by Red Bull, and again my condolences to the [Red Bull] team.

"I'm shattered. The car was a handful today. It felt amazing, firstly, to be in the lead. That's something we've been working so hard on as a team through the year and I felt so much hope, but it's okay, we'll hold onto that, we'll keep pushing, we'll try to give it everything in these next three. It'll come to us at some stage."

Max Verstappen's dramatic victory at the United States Grand Prix gave Red Bull the Formula One constructors' title, a day after the death of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

A record-equalling 13th win of the season for the irrepressible Verstappen, who already has the drivers' championship sewn up, secured the poignant achievement at the Circuit of The Americas.

Mercedes had monopolised the constructors' championship since 2014, but it has been a matter of time this season before they were dethroned.

Verstappen, hampered by an extended pit stop, slipped back to fifth place at one stage but roared back to the front of the field and produced a skilful overtaking move on Lewis Hamilton during the 50th lap to reclaim first position.

Mercedes had been chasing their first win of the season, but once Verstappen was in front of Hamilton it was game over. Verstappen and team boss Christian Horner dedicated the team success to Mateschitz immediately at the end of the race.

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari took third place, his first podium in Austin, with Red Bull's Sergio Perez fourth, Mercedes' George Russell fifth and McLaren's Lando Norris sixth.

Ferrari pole-sitter Carlos Sainz had the start of his nightmares, being overtaken by front-row rival Verstappen before the first corner and then spinning after colliding with Russell. Russell was handed a five-second penalty and Sainz's race was soon over as he came into the pits to retire, with radiator damage causing a water leak.

The safety car came out twice, firstly when Valtteri Bottas lost the back end of his Alfa Romeo and beached in the gravel on the 18th lap, and then when Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll collided, a flash point between the future Aston Martin team-mates.

Leclerc was a factor for much of the race, having done well to tear through the field after a 10-place engine change penalty meant he started from 12th on the grid.

A huge twist came with 20 laps remaining when Verstappen had his shocking pit stop. The world champion sarcastically told his team radio it had been "beautiful" but was told to focus on the race, and he subsequently showed why he and the team have been so dominant.

Verstappen matches Schumacher and Vettel

Michael Schumacher won 13 times for Ferrari in the 18-race 2004 campaign, while Sebastian Vettel won 13 in a 19-race 2013 season for Red Bull. Vettel was briefly a podium contender in this race but a 16.8 second pit stop scuttled his hopes.

Now Verstappen has equalled the single-season wins record Schumacher and Vettel shared, and as he said at the end of the race, he has "three more chances" to take the mark outright.

Aston thriller

The yellow flag came out when Alonso's Alpine ran into the back of Stroll's Aston Martin. The pair will be team-mates at Aston Martin next season, and as Alonso looked to overtake Stroll, it appeared Stroll moved to block the manoeuvre. That led to Alonso's car spectacularly bucking onto its rear wheels and running out of control before colliding with barriers.

Alonso was remarkably able to continue and reach the pits for repairs, but Stroll lost a tyre, amid strewn debris, and his race was over, with the stewards electing to leave it until after the race to pass any judgement.

Francesco Bagnaia reflected on "the best-ever start to a race in my life" after he roared from ninth on the grid to victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Ducati rider moved 23 points clear at the MotoGP title race summit with just one race to go, meaning he needs to only finish 14th to claim the championship next month in Valencia.

The Italian looked to have a fight on his hands to figure in the fight for the podium, though with rival Fabio Quartararo starting in 12th, both appeared to be out of the running before the lights went out in Sepang.

But a superb move down the inside of the first corner lifted Bagnaia to second, before race leader Jorge Martin's crash effectively helped hand him a major win - one that he could not contain his delight with afterwards.

"I want to say I had the best-ever start to a race in my life," he stated. "It was perfect. Following Jorge was a bit too much for the rear tyre and I was starting to stress.

"But then he crashed, unfortunately, and we did a really good job in terms of the championship. We can be very happy."

Quartararo, who finished third behind Enea Bastianini after also coming through the pack, raced with a fractured finger on his left hand, but still feels he has a chance of an upset in a fortnight in the final race of the season.

"The start was the key point, the first lap," he added. "We changed the strategy a little bit compared to Australia, where we wanted to keep the tyre fresh for the end.

"Even if now we are super far away [in the standings], I'm not giving up, and I want to finish in a good way in Valencia."

Max Verstappen led tributes to late Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz following his death at the age of 78 on the eve of the United States Grand Prix this weekend.

The Austrian, who co-founded the energy drink company and helped form its Formula One team in the mid-2000s, was confirmed to have passed away shortly before qualifying in Austin on Saturday.

Mateschitz, a sports fanatic whose company also purchased football clubs around the globe, helped establish their motorsport division as one of the leaders within F1.

Verstappen, who claimed a second successive drivers' championship this season and Red Bull's sixth in all, qualified second behind Ferrari's Carlos Sainz following the news, and paid his respects to Mateschitz.

"It has been hard news, I think, for everyone," he said. "What he meant [to] Red Bull, but also [for] the sport, and especially what he has done for me in terms of my career so far and my life, it is really tough.

"It has been a very tough day. Unfortunately, we missed out by a little [in qualifying] but there is still a race ahead and hopefully, we will make him proud."

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff - who began his own racing career with Red Bull - also paid tribute to Mateschitz.

"I was in a car that was sponsored by Red Bull, but I was proud to wear those colours as a junior driver or a GT driver back in the day," he added

"Being a Red Bull driver was something prestigious, and I was proud wearing the overalls and the team kit.

"What he has done in Austria for football, for ice-hockey, the racing programme - it's incredible. It's probably the biggest contribution in F1 of any single individual."

Francesco Bagnaia triumphed in a hard-fought Malaysian Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo ensured the MotoGP world championship would go down to the wire by finishing third on Sunday.

Ducati rider Bagnaia, who only moved ahead of his Yamaha rival last week, needed to outscore Quartararo by 11 points to secure the riders' title.

But Frenchman Quartararo recovered from 12th on the grid to make sure the title would still be undecided heading into the final race of the season for only the fifth time in the MotoGP era.

Still, with a 23-point gap in the standings Bagnaia is in a mightily strong position heading to Valencia in a fortnight.

Bagnaia himself had to fight his way through the grid having started ninth and was involved in a taut tussle for the win with fellow Italian Enea Bastianini at the top of the pack.

The pair took advantage of original race leader Jorge Martin crashing out on the seventh lap, following a blistering pole on Saturday, and exchanged the lead multiple times throughout their close-fought battle.

Bagnaia was boosted by a sensational start that saw him split Martin and Bastianini to move immediately into second on the first corner.

From there, he looked in comfortable command and when Martin took a tumble the lead opened up in front of him.

Bastianini refused to go quietly on his heels, however, taking the lead on the 11th lap around Turn 4, only for Bagnaia to wrestle back control three laps later, where he held on for an emphatic finish.

Last week's race winner Alex Rins came home in fifth, while Mooney VR46's Marco Bezzecchi's fourth-place finish put a third Italian into the top four in Sepang.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 40:14:332
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +0.270
3. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.773
4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +5.446
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +11.923
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +13.472
7. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +14.304
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +16.805
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +18.358
10. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +21.591

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 258
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 235
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 212
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 211
5. Jack Miller (Ducati) 189

Teams

1. Ducati 447
2. Aprilia Racing 334
3. Red Bull KTM 306
4. Pramac Racing 302
5. Monster Energy Yamaha 271

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