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Hamilton warns it "imperative" F1 teams are 'severely punished' for budget cap breach

Hamilton warns it "imperative" F1 teams are 'severely punished' for budget cap breach

Hamilton warns it "imperative" F1 teams are 'severely punished' for budget cap breach

Hamilton warns it "imperative" F1 teams are 'severely punished' for budget cap breach
Sam Hall & Ian Parkes

Lewis Hamilton has warned any inaction by the FIA against breaches of the budget cap would lead him to question the integrity of F1.

The FIA has confirmed it will award certificates of compliance on Monday following the Japanese Grand Prix - it was due to be announced yesterday [Wednesday] - amidst allegations Red Bull and Aston Martin spent beyond the prescribed $145million limit last year.

If found guilty, both teams are open to a wide range of sanctions including potential disqualification from the 2021 season.

Asked about the importance of a "severe punishment" for any breach, Hamilton said: "It's imperative.

"For transparency, we need to continue to have transparency of the sport, the integrity of the sport.

"I don't think I know enough about it but I know there are lots of conversations going on in the background.

"No one truly knows, there are different numbers and different things being said. Like you, I was expecting those results to come out yesterday.

"I would like to think if it's been delayed then it's being taken very seriously, and I really trust that Mohammed [Ben Sulayem - FIA president] will do what is right for the sport.

"It would be bad for the sport if action wasn't taken if there was a breach, but I don't know if there is. I'm waiting like you."

Hamilton questions Red Bull updates

Last year was unique in that teams were required to develop an existing car to one set of technical regulations, and design another to a completely new set.

This limited upgrades for the majority of outfits last year, including Mercedes.

Questioned further on his concern over reported breaches, Hamilton added: "For sure, because then it would put in question our values, the integrity of the sport.

"As a driver, you are always asking for updates, updates, updates, and I remember at Silverstone [last year] we got our last update.

"It was almost three-tenths, but I remember after that needing more updates but then seeing trucks...updates continuing to arrive on the other car and thinking 'Jesus! It's going to be hard to beat them in the championship if they keep bringing updates'.

"It's so integral to the development race. If we'd had another half-a-million to spend we would have been in a different position at some of the following races if we'd brought another floor, which we could have easily done.

"But that's not the name of the game and I'm grateful our team is very strict with the way we work and they did an amazing job.

"It is to be taken seriously."

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