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Hamilton backs FIA to uphold F1's integrity amid Red Bull storm

Hamilton backs FIA to uphold F1's integrity amid Red Bull storm

Hamilton backs FIA to uphold F1's integrity amid Red Bull storm

Hamilton backs FIA to uphold F1's integrity amid Red Bull storm

Lewis Hamilton has backed the FIA to uphold F1's integrity as the Red Bull budget cap saga rages on.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit was found to have committed a minor breach of the 2021 budget cap, an infringement believed to have been up to $2million over the permitted $145million last year.

Red Bull, therefore, failed to obtain an FIA certificate of compliance when the results of the financial regulatory audits were revealed after the Japanese Grand Prix, though the specific details of the breach were not released.

The team is now understood to be in negotiation with the FIA over a potential accepted breach agreement, though Red Bull has been defiant in its belief that no breach was committed.

With the paddock waiting for a verdict after accusations of cheating were levelled, Mercedes driver Hamilton was asked for his take on the situation.

"There is nothing I can say that will be beneficial, it is all an assumption of what may or may not happen," conceded the seven-time world champion.

"So I am not giving it any energy. I am just focused on trying to gee-up the team, trying to turn this car around and working on things that I can generally control.

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

"Otherwise, I am just focused on doing the best job I can."

Hamilton calls for strict action to secure budget cap future

The controversy surrounding the budget cap breach brings the already contentious championship results from last season back into question.

Hamilton was defeated by Max Verstappen on the final lap of the campaign in Abu Dhabi, though Mercedes was left irate over the handling of a late-race safety car - the protocols followed during which cost Michael Masi the race director's job.

The Briton's social media followers have called for the championship results to be reversed in the wake of the budget cap breach and in reply, Hamilton said: "Firstly, I love my fans, I love how passionate they are.

"I have heard the things that have been said. I am generally looking forwards, I am looking at how I can win another championship.

"I am not... I have my own opinions of what we did as a team and how we did it last year and I am really proud of that and the belief in what we earned.

"It doesn't change a huge amount."

Calling for a strict penalty to disuade future breaches, Hamilton added: "I do think this sport needs to do something about this so in the future... if they are relaxed with these rules, all the teams will just go over.

"Spending millions more and only having a slap on the wrist is obviously not going to be great for the sport, they might as well not have a cost cap in the future."

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