Red Bull’s’minor’ 2021 budget cap violation has prompted Lewis Hamilton to urge for the FIA to severely penalize Red Bull.
The majority of the F1 world definitely wants to put the term “Cashgate” behind them, especially since Red Bull’s budget cap controversy continues to overshadow the race to some extent. That was the situation once more during the US Grand Prix, where news about Cashgate seemed to dominate the whole build-up.
Red Bull’s’minor’ violation of the £114 million budget cap for 2021 has drawn widespread agreement among drivers and teams, and Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the cost cap may as well be eliminated if the FIA is “lax” about the penalty.
“If they’re relaxed with these rules, then all the teams will just go over, and spending millions more and then only having a slap on the wrist is obviously not going to be great for the sport,” said Hamilton.
“They might as well not have a cost cap for the future.”
Hamilton made his remarks ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, which he has won a record-breaking five times.
But it didn’t take long for Hamilton’s 2021 title opponent Max Verstappen to call Hamilton and others “hypocrites,” with the double World Champion feeling that the paddock is picking on Red Bull because it is doing well.
“I think it’s mainly because we’re doing well… They try to slow us down in any way possible.” Verstappen told Sky. “At the end of the day that’s how Formula 1 works… Everyone is a bit hypocritical but I’m fine with that.”
“We just have to focus on our job. Nothing has been confirmed yet but as a team we know what we have to deal with and we are very clear with what we think is correct.”
Similar remarks were made by team principal Christian Horner when he retaliated against McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown during the media briefing for the US Grand Prix team principals.
It was discovered that Brown himself wrote to the FIA and accused Red Bull of “cheating,” although the American omitted to mention the Austrians in his letter.
In addition to Sergio Pérez’s suggestion that the leaders of the Constructors are being targeted because they are “winning,” Red Bull has continued to deny that they have violated the cap.
“At the end of the day, there are always teams that want to take performance out of you, especially when you are winning,” said Pérez. “It’s part of the sport, and this has been the case forever.”
“I just think it’s a normal situation… At the end of the day, facts will come out and people will see and understand the situation.”
Auto Motor und Sport claims that Red Bull is aware of their punishment, unlike the paddock. According to AMuS, Red Bull will be penalized with a fine and a reduction in their wind tunnel testing by 25%. The Austrians may contest this decision.
This would have a significant impact on the side, particularly as they are expected to receive just a limited amount of wind tunnel time as a result of the relatively recent sliding scale, which grants lower teams more wind tunnel time than teams at higher positions in the hierarchy.