English Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has expressed that the FIA must be decisive and take stringent action against any teams found to have broken Formula One’s budget cap regulations. The seven-time champion believes that the integrity of the sport was at stake and pointedly noted how Red Bull appeared to be spending heavily on upgrading their car.
Before this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton stated that if any team is found guilty, they should be punished appropriately. At last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, several rumours and allegations emerged that Red Bull had exceeded the £114m budget cap set for 2021.
“I think it’s imperative, honestly, just for transparency,” he said. “We need to continue to have transparency for the fans, for the integrity of the sport.” Hamilton also said the FIA’s delay in announcing their findings indicated that the governing body understood the import of the decision they were making.
“I would like to think that if it’s been delayed it’s because it’s been taken very seriously,” he said. “I trust that Mohammed [ben Sulayem, the FIA president] is taking it seriously and will do what is right for the sport.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also called his opposite number from Red Bull, Christan Horner after the rumours. He talked about how the Red Bull boss doesn’t have conversations with his CFO regarding this issue. “It’s funny that Christian says that, because it’s been weeks and months they’re being investigated, so maybe he doesn’t speak to his CFO [chief financial officer],” the Austrian told Sky F1.
He further talked about how he still has trust in the FIA to handle the issue. He said, “As a matter of fact, all of us have been investigated diligently. As far as we understand, there’s a team in minor breach which is more procedural, and another team that is fundamentally, massively over and that is still being looked at.
“So that’s an open secret in the paddock. I think there’s governance in place that is very solid, that the FIA has set up. [Teams] will be issued a certificate of compliance and, if you’re not compliant, it goes to the so-called Cost Cap Adjudication panel with independent judges, and they can then choose from these penalties, the appropriate ones.”