George Russell fires Red Bull ‘crime’ accusation

The FIA have rejected rumours that three teams have breached the 2022 budget cap.

George Russell has called for the FIA to issue harsher penalties to teams who breach the budget cap, following rumours that three teams exceeded the 2022 cap.

It’s been reported by multiple media outlets that three teams have breached last season’s cap; however, the FIA have insisted that the rumours regarding the cap are “unfounded”.

Despite this, the budget cap was a big talking point ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, especially as Red Bull remain so dominant.

The Austrians, of course, breached the 2021 cap and were penalised towards the end of last season.

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Red Bull were fined $7 million and slapped with a 10% reduction in permitted aerodynamic research, something the paddock weren’t pleased with.

Most believed that Red Bull weren’t punished heavily enough, with Russell noting ahead of this weekend that the Austrians “punishment didn’t fit the crime”.

Russell wants to see cost cap breaches taken more seriously by the governing body, who he insists he has “faith” in to make the correct decisions.

Should Red Bull have breached the cap again though, then the 25-year-old wants the side to face an “even greater” punishment.

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“If anybody has breached any regulation you want the punishment to represent the crime,” Russell said ahead of the Hungarian GP.

“I think there were breaches last year and clearly the punishment didn’t fit the crime. We don’t want to be seeing that happen again, and if it’s a second-time offender the punishment should be even greater than perhaps what is a fair punishment, if it’s happened two years in a row.

“I trust in the FIA. I think Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA President] is a great force there, as well. They won’t be letting anyone get away with anything that happened under their watch so I have faith in them.”

READ: George Russell reveals lofty Hungarian GP target

Lewis Hamilton also wants to see the FIA punish guilty teams more harshly, given that Red Bull received just a “slap on the wrist” last year.

“It’s definitely a concern,” Hamilton said on Thursday.

“I mean, there wasn’t really a big punishment last time, so there’s no real… There will be people that will probably go for it again and know they’re just going to get a slap on the wrist.”