Lewis Hamilton has questioned Red Bull’s upgrade to 2021 and believes it “could have changed the outcome of the championship” if Mercedes had matched him last season.
Hamilton did not accuse Red Bull of breaking the budget limit, but admitted he had been thinking about the issue last season.
The seven-time world champion believes that the FIA should be transparent in its decision-making and support them to make the right decisions.
Red Bull are one of the teams that were rumored to have breached the spending limit, although this was strongly denied by team principal Christian Horner during the previous round of the championship in Singapore.
“What can I say I remember last year was our last upgrade at Silverstone and luckily it was great and we could fight with it,” Hamilton said ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“But then we will see Red Bull bring upgrades every weekend or every other weekend. I think they had at least four more upgrades by that point.
“If we spend £300,000 on a new floor, or adapt a wing, it will naturally change the outcome of the championship because if you add to that we will be competing better in the next race.
Lewis Hamilton thinks F1 needs to be transparent with respect to any cost cap violations and the teams responsible for any violations.
“So, I hope that’s not the case. I believe in Mohamed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president] And the FIA will do whatever is right with whatever it finds out.”
The FIA announced ahead of the Japanese GP whether any of the game’s 10 creators had breached the $145m spending limit in 2021 will be confirmed by Monday, October 10, with two teams seeking to eliminate that cap. Rumors were spread.
sky sports news understands that there has been no ‘major’ violation of the limit – an excess of five percent of expenditure – and that any punishment would be commensurate with the punishment prescribed for ‘minor’ breaches of an expense of more than five percent.
Possible sanctions for minor violations include the deduction of constructors’ and drivers’ championship points and suspension from one or more stages of competition.
Craig Slater and Ted Kravitz anticipate no major breaches as Formula 1 prepares itself for the much-anticipated decision on the cost cap.
Limitations on the team’s ability to perform aerodynamic or other tests, or further reduction in their total cost cap, are also options.
Red Bull driver and current world champion Max Verstappen, who could win a second title at Suzuka this weekend, insisted he is not worrying about the consequences of the FIA’s CAP certification or any potential sanctions, However, his team may have to face it.
Speaking to Sky Sports in response to Hamilton’s comments, Verstappen said: “I think we have our reasons to believe we are good, that’s what I’ve been told and we’ll find out on Monday.”
“It’s also something between the team and the FIA, it’s not really up to me, I’m here to drive fast and try to give the team the best results.”
Seven-time world champion Hamilton is confident the sport’s governing body is committed to integrity, and hopes the same will prove to be the case with the cost cap.
Red Bull allegations of breaching the F1 cost cap continue, but do they hold any truth and can they really cost Max Verstappen his 2021 title?
“Transparency is always very important, especially with all the fans who tune in and travel around the world,” Hamilton said.
“I think it’s important for all of us, as well as everyone who works, the thousands of people who work in sports, I think it’s important to have transparency throughout the organization.
“And accountability is something that we always have to keep true as well. We’ve seen in the last years of the game where things are dealt with in the background, I don’t think it’s a new way of moving forward with a new way of doing things. With Mohammed.
“I think honesty is very important to him and as F1 is nowadays with a new management, so I think we have good people. I hope we get the right regime.”
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George Russell echoed Mercedes teammate Hamilton’s views at Thursday’s pre-race press conference at Suzuka and underlined his belief that the FIA would take the right approach with any team determined to spend the cap.
“We know that if we have more money to spend and it’s as simple as that, we can bring more performance to the table,” Russell said.
“I trust Mohamed and the FIA to find an appropriate punishment for anyone found guilty of the charges.
“It should be fairly straightforward, and you would expect that the amount is taken for next year’s budget and maybe a little more as punishment on top of that, but let’s wait and see.”
Herbert: Punishment for violation will set precedent
Johnny Herbert believes that the FIA needs to be transparent and severely punish anyone who breaks the cost limit to prevent further violations.
Sky Sports F1’s Johnny Herbert…
“I can understand from a driver’s perspective. You put your heart and soul into trying to do the best you can to go as fast as you possibly can within the cockpit of the car. Then you Hear all these rumors that someone might have spent more, and we all know that if that’s the case, there’s going to be an advantage out of it. Then when that profit is something you hear about , and perhaps aware of it, it becomes so difficult to simply sort it out to accept certain situations that have happened in the past or are happening in the present moment.
“I totally understand what his (Hamilton’s) thinking might be. But we’re not accountants, we don’t really know the whole issue that’s really going on so we’ll have to wait and see what it is.” What really is.
“I think whatever happens, if there is someone who violates, they do it as a punishment, because it will set a precedent for the future and that will be something that the teams will be looking at. Because that It will then guide them as to what they can do in the future.
“It’s a big deal for everyone here, what exactly is the penalty imposed on that particular team that is found guilty of that.
“It’s going to be tough because the only way you’re going to be able to try and stamp that out is to be tough and say ‘If we get to this point again, it’s going to be a harsh punishment. ‘. Hopefully, this is something that will come our way as I think everyone back home as a Formula One fan will look forward to seeing.”