Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says that the fact that Red Bull overshot the budget affected last year’s result, and it also extended to this season.
The Austrian team committed a “minor” breach of the $145 million limit last year, after the FIA issued a statement on teams that were certified and those that were not.
Last year, Mercedes and Red Bull had an extremely tough fight until the last round, the last race when it comes to winning the drivers’ championship title.
Max Verstappen managed to cross the finish line first in a controversial race and thus remove the Mercedes drivers from those positions, and Lewis Hamilton was left without a record eighth title in Abu Dhabi.
Both teams competed in upgrades, and now it appears that Red Bull broke the rule in that regard. From the paddock, everyone is expecting the unfolding of events on how this team will be sanctioned.
The Mercedes driver believes that Red Bull’s overrun of the budget had an impact on last year’s result, and this situation has been carried over to this season as well.
“I’m not the one who can decide what [the punishment] will be.” The fact is that this injury affected last year’s result, but it affects this year as well,” said Hamilton.
“Because they would take over the same practice, most of the time maybe this season, it would be beneficial to carry it over to this season and continue that,” he added.
“When these new rules come out, if you have a head start, it’s very, very difficult to close the gap. It simply comes back to integrity, we have to stick to the core values of what this sport is.”
“I got fined $25,000 for wearing this nose ring and $50,000 for having that wing and coming last in the race [2021 Grand Prix], so I’m hoping,” he explains.
“I really believe that I have to trust the FIA and the people who run this team to make the right decisions. What it is, everyone has an opinion about what should or shouldn’t happen, but I don’t give energy to it.”
“Right now I’m trying to win the race,” Hamilton concluded.