Max Verstappen may need to relinquish maiden title to Lewis Hamilton after FIA statement on budget cap resurfaces

Last year’s championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was one of the most closely fought titles in recent years.

While it had its fair share of drama at the time owing to a controversial decision by race director Michael Masi in the final race, new evidence on Red Bull breaching its budget cap has brought the spotlight back on it.

In light of Red Bull exceeding its limit and thereby helping Max Verstappen gain better performance as a result, there is enough to suggest that the FIA may overturn the title from last year and hand Hamilton a world record eighth championship.

While the FIA has delayed its decision and is still seeking further analysis, F1’s managing director Ross Brawn had made some interesting comments back in 2019 about what would happen if a team spent more than its allocated budget.

“I think the crucial thing about the financial regulations now is that they’re part of the FIA regulations,” Brawn had said.

“So the sanctions from breaching financial regulations will be sporting penalties of some sort, depending on the severity of the breach.

“If you fraudulently breach the financial regulations, you will be losing your championship. So it has serious consequences if teams breach these regulations.”

Will Hamilton be handed a record eighth world championship?

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com

However, the regulations are not that straightforward, especially considering the fact that 2021 was the first year the budget cap actually came into effect.

These comments, however, are from 2019 when it was yet to be implemented.

Brawn himself had admitted back then that the regulations were well thought-out but still needed “development”.

Brawn reiterated that it’s not just those inside the sport that work on making the rules, but expert help is sought from outside as well.

“We’ve got a very strong team of financial experts within the FIA and within Formula 1, and we’ve sought outside support on this,” he had said.

“Deloitte have been involved. So we have had a very strong group of experts, and that will continue. We’re not going to stand those people down, they’re going to continue to help introduce these regulations and develop them.”

Read more: FIA breaks silence over leaked information on Max Verstappen scandal that has left F1 world divided

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