Verstappen branded ‘cost cap champion’ as angry F1 fans blast FIA and Red Bull

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    Max Verstappen has been branded a ‘cost cap champion’ by angry F1 fans as the budget gap saga engulfing Red Bull rumbles on.

    After more than a week of speculation, it was finally confirmed on Monday that Red Bull had spent beyond the £114million limit as Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 drivers’ title.

    That championship was already shrouded in controversy given the manner of Verstappen’s triumph which saw him benefit massively from then race director Michael Masi’s bungled handling of a safety car period at the end of the race.

    READ MORE: Martin Brundle expects FIA to crack down 'hard' on Red Bull after F1 budget cap breach

    While Red Bull’s budget transgression has been classed as ‘minor’, they still reportedly overspent by £1.5million, which could have been put towards significant car upgrades amid one of the tightest ever title fights.

    Frustratingly, the exact scale of Red Bull’s transgression, nor their punishment, have still not been confirmed by F1’s governing body.

    The saga, and the FIA handling of it, has provoked fury among F1 fans, with many insisting Verstappen’s 2021 title will be forever tainted. #CostCapChampion has even been trending on social media.

    One fan tweeted: “If an athlete takes performance enhancing drugs they will be banned from competing. Exceeding the cost cap is the same as giving the car performance enhancing drugs. #CostCapChampion #CostcappenScandal ”

    Another insisted: “Red Bull breached cost cap rules in 2021 in a championship that was decided by the barest of margins. It will have been enough to give them the upper hand. Verstappen’s first WC is TAINTED. #F1 #CostCapChampion

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    A third hit out at the FIA, posting: "Dear @FIA, if you shirk your responsibilities, this is never going to end. You have the opportunity to restore order by way of correcting the illegitimacy currently plaguing this sport. Don't waste this opportunity. Let @F1 move on. #CostCapChampion #CostCapScandal

    What should be the punishment for breaching the F1 cost cap? Tell us in the comments section below.

    Another urged F1 to split with the FIA and form their own governing body, saying: “F1 and Liberty Media needs to part ways with the FIA. The sport is being brought into disrepute by this unfit body #CostCapChampion.”

    One fan called for Red Bull and Verstappen to be stripped of the 2021 title, tweeting: “If they've overspent, they lose Championship points, it's literally in black and white. #CostCapChampion #F1xed."

    Another wrote: The @FIA may as well take a stand on this and remove the ’21 championship from Red Bull. It was illegitimate before, but this removes even more credibility. It’s done. Put a fork in it. Why protect it? It’s over. They cheated.”

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