Lewis Hamilton sends strong threat to FIA over Red Bull cheating

Lewis Hamilton lost the 2021 title to Max Verstappen on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi season finale.

The shocking announcement that Red Bull breached the 2021 budget cap “brings up emotions” for Lewis Hamilton, with it essentially being confirmed that the Austrians did cheat on Max Verstappen’s way to his maiden world title.

2021 was already a year that tested Hamilton’s emotions to the extreme, with the seven-time World Champion having even considered whether he wanted to race this season.

Of course, the Mercedes driver did return and has largely faced a simply woeful season.

2022 is set to be the 37-year-old’s worst season of his F1 career, with him having just four races to ensure that isn’t the case, starting with this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

READ: Nicholas Latifi admits he’s ‘exploring other options’ after Williams axe

The attention this weekend has once again been on Red Bull’s breach, though, which is believed to be around the $1.8 million mark.

Hamilton’s 2021 team-mate Valtteri Bottas has already admitted that a breach that large would’ve made a “big, big difference”, whether the Austrians overspent on the car or colleagues.

Most of the paddock has actually rallied together against Red Bull, with the general consensus being that they want the FIA to award a heavy penalty.

However, this might not be what the governing body are planning, with recent reports suggesting that the FIA have offered Red Bull an “accepted breach agreement”, which would see the Austrians accept the fact they broke the $145 million cap.

Article continues below

Accepting this, though, could see Red Bull get off lightly, something Hamilton is confident won’t happen.

The Brit believes that if Red Bull just get a “slap on the wrist”, then the budget cap might has well be axed, as teams will spend whatever they want should the punishment be weak.

Despite this, Hamilton “believes” in the FIA to make the “right decision”, something it appears most don’t.

“I do believe the sport has to do something about this because if the FIA are quite relaxed with these rules then all the teams will just go over [the budget] and spend millions more,” Hamilton told reporters ahead of the US Grand Prix.

READ: New Haas title sponsor provides Mick Schumacher contract update

“Only getting a slap on the wrist is not great for the sport. They might as well not have a cost cap in future.

“I do believe [FIA president] Mohammed [Ben Sulayem] and his team will make the right decisions. I have to believe that. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

“I am just focused on doing the best job I can, and what they have done is done. I am looking forward, and looking at how I can win another world championship.”