George Russell’s idea of ‘fair punishment’ for Red Bull won’t please Lewis Hamilton

The FIA will determine who stayed within the 2021 budget cap next week.

Mercedes’ George Russell does not want to delve into the controversy surrounding the budget cap, and would rather wait until the FIA publishes its findings on Monday.

The governing body, now led by Mohammed ben Sulayem, introduced the first budget cap in 2021, with the teams limited to $145 million of spending.

Each team was also required to submit paperwork to the governing body documenting their expenditures, to ensure that there were no omissions or instances of trickery.

Williams were fined earlier in the season for missing the deadline to hand in their files, but the procedural breach earned them one of the lighter punishments.

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Last week, a report mentioned Red Bull and Aston Martin as two teams that might have spent more than the regulation amount last season.

It suggested that the Austrian side might have spent as much as $155 million en route to Max Verstappen’s title success against Sir Lewis Hamilton.

That would be a material breach of the rules, for which the consequence is possible exclusion from the championship standings.

There are now rumours that they have overspent by less than five percent, and the FIA are yet to finalise their calculations, so they will decide who gets certificates of compliance on Monday.

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Both Red Bull and Aston Martin have denied wrongdoing, with Christian Horner livid over the accusations made against his team.

Russell does not want to come to any conclusions before the FIA confirm whether there has been any breach of the rules, but if there has been an indiscretion, he wants to see ben Sulayem and his organisation take action against it.

“It’s not my duty to dive into those details and I’ll just sit and wait and see what the results are on Monday,” he said.

“But I just know from our experience within Mercedes, how hard the whole team have worked to stay within that cost cap – we know we can bring more performance to the table if we had more money to spend, and it’s as simple as that. 

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“I trust in Mohammed and the FIA to bring an appropriate punishment for anyone who’s found guilty of the charges accused.

“It should be quite straightforward and you’d expect that the amount that’s gone over should be the amount that’s taken off for next year’s budget, and probably a bit more on top of that, as a punishment. But let’s wait and see.”

Russell’s team-mate, Hamilton, indicated on Thursday that, if Mercedes had spent another “300,000” on their car last year, he would have won the title.