Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has refused to be drawn into a verbal tussle with Sir Lewis Hamilton amid the budget cup debacle.
The FIA are to decide on Monday whether or not anyone is guilty of overspending on last year’s $145 million budget cap.
In a report last week by Auto Motor und Sport, Red Bull and Aston Martin were implicated as two teams that might have spent more than the regulation amount on development.
Both teams have denied this, with Christian Horner bemused at suggestions that his team had spent as much as $10 million more than was permitted.
The reason for the confusion was because the FIA had not yet finished their calculations after the teams had submitted their paperwork, and they still have not completed the process.
Mohammed ben Sulayem’s team have been checking over everyone’s spending to make sure there is nothing untoward, and those who stayed within the cap will be given certificates of compliance.
Whether Red Bull and Aston Martin will be among those recipients remains to be seen, but Hamilton reckons that, had his Mercedes team been allowed to spend another 300k, he might have beaten Verstappen to the championship in 2021.
“What I can say is I remember last year in Silverstone we had our last upgrade and fortunately it was great and we could fight with it,” he told Sky Sports.
“But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bringing upgrades. They had, I think, at least four more upgrades from that point.
“If we spent 300,000 on a new floor, or adapted a wing, it would have changed the outcome of the championship naturally because we would have been in better competition in the next race if you add it on.
“So I hope that that’s not the case.
“And I just hope that, I do believe Mohammed and the FIA will do what is right with whatever they find out. So that’s what we have to have faith in.”
The seven-time champion also highlighted the importance of “transparency” in the publication of any wrongdoing.
Verstappen would much prefer the whole episode be finished now rather than next week.
“I mean, that’s normally what should have been the case already right?” added the reigning champion, also speaking to Sky.
“I think we have our reasons to believe that we are good. So that’s what I’ve been told and we’ll find out on Monday.”
The Dutchman said “no” when asked if Hamilton’s comments held any water with him, and he will not worry about something that is out of his control.
“No, but it’s also something between the team and the FIA and it’s not really up to me, I’m here to drive fast and try to give the best result to the team,” affirmed Verstappen.
A win with the fastest lap will guarantee Verstappen his second consecutive championship this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix.