Social media has been ablaze over potentially taking away Max Verstappen’s maiden world championship in 2021 and instead awarding it to Lewis Hamilton after reports emerged that the Milton Keynes outfit had overspent its budget.
Hamilton has accepted the fact that he is aware of these calls from his supporters, who want Hamilton to be crowned champion for a record eighth time.
However, the Mercedes driver has confessed that he has not paid much thought to it.
Instead, he believes “looking forwards” and applying his energy on claiming a title in the future is at the top of his priority list.
“Well, firstly, I love my fans. I love how passionate they are. So, I’ve not been really… I’ve heard the things that have been said,” Hamilton said.
“I’m generally looking forwards. I’m looking at how I can win another Championship. I’m not… I have my own opinions of what we did as a team and how we did it last year. And I’m really proud of that.
“And, belief in what we earned. It doesn’t really change a huge amount.”
Hamilton doesn’t want Red Bull to get away with breach
The budget cap breach would have hurt Hamilton the most, as it was reported that the additional money spent by Red Bull may have helped the team gain approximately 0.5 seconds per lap.
Hamilton said that Red Bull must not get away with its budget cap breach with a simple “slap on the wrist”.
“I’ve heard the things that have been said,” Hamilton said.
“I’m generally looking forwards. I’m looking at how I can win another championship.
“I have my own opinions of what we did as a team and how we did it last year and I’m really proud of that.
“I do think that sport needs to do something about this in the future otherwise, if they relax with these rules, then all the teams would just go over, spending millions more and then only having a slap on the wrist, is obviously not going be great for the sport.
“They might as well not have a cost cap in the future.”
Brown wants FIA to deliver harsh punishment
Meanwhile, McLaren CEO Zak Brown has asked FIA to deliver a strict punishment as he believes Red Bull was cheating by evading the budget limit.
“The overspend breach, and possibly the procedural breaches, constitute cheating by offering a significant advantage across technical, sporting and financial regulations,” said Brown.
“The FIA has run an extremely thorough, collaborative and open process. We have even been given a one-year dress rehearsal (in 2020), with ample opportunity to seek any clarification if details were unclear. So, there is no reason for any team to now say they are surprised.
“The bottom line is any team who has overspent has gained an unfair advantage both in the current and following year’s car development.
“We don’t feel a financial penalty alone would be a suitable penalty for an overspend breach or a serious procedural breach. There clearly needs to be a sporting penalty in these instances, as determined by the FIA.
“We suggest that the overspend should be penalised by way of a reduction to the team’s cost cap in the year following the ruling, and the penalty should be equal to the overspend plus a further fine – i.e. an overspend of $2m in 2021, which is identified in 2022, would result in a $4m deduction in 2023 ($2m to offset the overspend plus $2m fine).
“For context, $2m is (a) 25-50% upgrade to (an) annual car-development budget and hence would have a significant positive and long-lasting benefit.
“In addition, we believe there should be minor overspend sporting penalties of a 20% reduction in CFD and wind tunnel time. These should be enforced in the following year, to mitigate against the unfair advantage the team has and will continue to benefit from.”