Red Bull’s ‘minor’ violation of the 2021 cost cap has led Lewis Hamilton to demand that the FIA severely penalise the team. Most of the F1 fans want to put the term “Cashgate” behind them, especially since Red Bull’s cost cap controversy seems to overshadow the sporting aspect nowadays.
That was the situation again during the US Grand Prix, where news about “Cashgate” seemed to overshadow the whole build-up.
The general agreement among teams and drivers is that a hefty punishment must be imposed on Red Bull for their “minor” violation of the 2021 cost cap, and Lewis Hamilton even admitted that the cost cap “might as well” be eliminated if the FIA were “relaxed” regarding the punishment.
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Hamilton said: “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. They might as well not have a cost cap for the future [in that case].”
Hamilton made his remarks ahead of this weekend’s main event 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 championship rival Max Verstappen to label Hamilton and others as “hypocritical,” with the Dutchman feeling that the whole paddock is picking on Red Bull because it is “doing well.”
Speaking with Sky Italia, Verstappen said: “I think it’s mainly because we’re doing well, They try to slow us down in any way possible.”
“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 Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, when he reacted to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown during the media briefing for team principals at the US Grand Prix. It was discovered that Brown himself wrote to the FIA and accused Red Bull of “cheating.” However, he omitted to mention the Austrians in his letter.
In addition to Sergio Pérez’s claim that the leaders of the Constructors are being targeted because they are “winning,” Red Bull has consistently denied that they have violated the cap.
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Perez said: “At the end of the day, there are always teams that want to take performance out of you, especially when you are winning,”
“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.”
Leading motorsport magazine, Auto Motor und Sport claims that Red Bull is aware of their punishment, unlike the rest of the paddock. According to them, Red Bull will be penalised with a fine and a 25% decrease in their wind tunnel; nevertheless, it is reported that the Austrians may appeal 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 sport.