Mercedes send huge FIA threat as they demand Lewis Hamilton gets 2021 title

Red Bull Racing were found guilty of breaching last season's budget cap by the FIA earlier this week.

Formula 1 appears to have become more about the sport’s politics rather than the on-track action, with the FIA having potentially the biggest decision in its modern history to make.

It was announced by the FIA last Monday that following much speculation, Red Bull had exceeded the 2021 budget cap, after being found to have made a ‘minor’ breach of the £114 million cap.

This cap set out for the first time in 2021, was implemented into the sport to control how much teams could spend on their cars (excluding the power unit), as well as other factors such as, employee wages (excluding the three highest earners), and catering.

The FIA brought this in to ensure that all 10 teams were able to spend the same amount, therefore closing the field and making the grid more financially fair; however, Red Bull breaching the cap means that none of the sort happened.

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A number of rumours believe the Austrians exceeded the cap by around £1.8 million, with the bulk of that having been on catering.

How that much can be overspent on catering is another question, with it leaving many completely baffled.

All eyes are now on the FIA to award a heavy punishment to Red Bull for essentially cheating in 2021, a year where, of course, Max Verstappen claimed his first World Championship.

The big problem is that there are a number of potential punishments, including, a fine, points deductions from 2021, resource reductions, and session bans.

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However, reportedly there is another option that could essentially see the entire thing swept underneath the carpet, a plea bargain.

Essentially, Red Bull can accept that they exceeded the budget cap and then pay the FIA a large sum, reportedly £10 million.

Should this happen, then no further punishment would be awarded and the case wouldn’t go to court, therefore maintaining Red Bull’s reputation and the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.

This would, obviously, result in unimaginable backlash from the paddock, especially from the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes.

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Teams seem to want a heavy penalty to be awarded to make sure no team exceeds the cap again, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff supposedly prepared to overspend next season and then pay the fine if Red Bull are let off with a light penalty.

“If Red Bull had gone behind by two million, it could close the matter by paying the FIA five times, so ten million,” reported Il Corriere dello Sport as a potential way of avoiding a punishment.

“And in any case it would not be fair because it would sanction the right to cheat by paying an amnesty. Mercedes have already talked about it and, if this were really the point of failure, the Star is ready to plan extra budget and related fine to recover performance and return to the top.”