MAX VERSTAPPEN was heckled by fans at the US Grand Prix as they chanted âcheater, cheater!â at the double-world champion.
A video has emerged on social media of the Red Bull man on stage at a fan event in Austin, Texas, for this weekendâs race.
But a group are heard in the short clip shouting at the Dutchman, whose team are the subject of a cost-cap breach with the sportâs governing body, the FIA.
Red Bull are anxiously waiting to find out what sort of penalties they will be hit by, with sporting and financial penalties both very much on the table as they attempt to hash out a deal.
Team Principal Christian Horner has maintained the team’s innocence over their breaking of the Â£114million budget cap.
The overspend transgression is believed to be in the region of Â£1.8m, with Horner adamant the team did not gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
However, in a leaked letter to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1Â boss, Stefano Domenicali, McLaren chief Zak Brown said their overspend would “constitute cheating.“
He also lobbied the FIA to enact harsh financial and performance-related penalties on the team going forward, including reducing their budget cap next season and limiting their wind tunnel testing.
But Horner hit back at the accusations, saying: “We have had sight of that letter, which wasn’t copied to us, and it is tremendously disappointing for a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating.
“To accuse you of fraudulent activity is shocking. For another competitor, without the facts and without any knowledge of the details to be making that sort of accusation.
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“We have been on trial because of public accusations since Singapore, the rhetoric of cheats, the rhetoric that we have had this enormous benefit.
“The numbers put out in the media are miles out of reality and the damage that does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce…
“You cannot go around just making that kind of allegation without any facts or substance. So, we are absolutely appalled by the behaviour of some of our competitors.”
However, following a 10-place grid drop for Charles Leclerc, the Dutchman has been promoted up to second on the grid, with seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton also benefitting and moving up to third.
Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz passed away this week aged 78, leaving the team and all of F1 in mourning.
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