Red Bull breach makes it more difficult for Lewis Hamilton to accept ‘robbery’

Red Bull have been found guilty of breaching the 2021 budget cap, making Sir Lewis Hamilton feel even more aggrieved about his controversial defeat.

Max Verstappen converted pole position into a commanding win at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix and in the process become a two-time World Champion.

However, amid the title celebrations, the FIA on Monday revealed that Red Bull had a “minor” breach of the budget cap in 2021.

It’s unclear how exactly the team will be punished, but a fine or reduced wind tunnel time seem most likely at this juncture.

The FIA confirmed last Wednesday that on Monday they would be awarding certificates of approval to the teams who kept below the 2021 budget cap of $145 million, raising eyebrows as to why they opted to postpone this key date.

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The budget cap was first introduced last season to not only make the field more competitive and to stop the frontrunners from overspending; it was also done to make for a more financially fair playing field.

The budget includes any car parts except for the power unit, which means any upgrades non-power unit related would’ve been built and developed using money from this budget.

Red Bull’s overspend has further damaged the legitimacy of Verstappen’s 2021 championship, but the team and driver are unlikely to face a points deduction for the “minor breach.”

Discussing the Cashgate Scandal over the weekend, Ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert said last season’s defeat will become even “harder to accept” for the seven-time World Champion if Red Bull did indeed overspend in 2021.

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“I do get [where Lewis is coming from],” said Herbert.

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“We don’t know what the situation is at the present time, hopefully Monday is when we really know. But I can understand from a driver’s point of view.

“You put your heart and soul into trying to put on the best performances you can within the cockpit, to go as fast you possibly can. Then you hear the rumours that maybe someone has overspent. Then we know if that’s the case there’s going to be an advantage from that.

“When that advantage is something you hear about and maybe know about, it makes it harder to accept certain situations that have happened in the past or present time. I understand what his thinking is, but we’re not accountants and we don’t know what the whole issue is and we have to wait and see.”