Lewis Hamilton spoke out against the FIA’s failure to penalize teams who violate the cost cap regulations and has issued a warning that this could lead to further violations.
For breaking the rules last season, Red Bull was hit with a $7 million fine and a 10% reduction in wind tunnel time. Many people felt that this was a lenient penalty for Red Bull.
Recently, reports from the German and Italian media suggested that at least two teams had violated the cap; some reports even claimed that three teams were in violation of the budget cap. The FIA responded on Thursday, stating that the claims were “factually incorrect” and that the auditing process is still ongoing.
The FIA has the authority to decide whether to impose stronger sporting penalties for cost cap violations, despite F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s earlier in the week calls for such sanctions.
It is safe to assume that Hamilton shares Domenicali’s viewpoint and does not think the previous sanctions were severe enough. He discussed the last time a penalty was imposed in an interview with Craig Slater of Sky Sports F1.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a concern,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t really a big punishment last time, there’ll be people that probably go for it again and they’re just going to get a slap on the wrist.”
The FIA did indicate that they are working to conclude the process as soon as possible, but they have not yet specified when the findings of the 2022 cost cap study will be made public.