Hamilton hopes delay in budget cap findings is down to FIA taking issue seriously

Steve Etherington/Motorsport Images

Hamilton hopes delay in budget cap findings is down to FIA taking issue seriously

Formula 1

Hamilton hopes delay in budget cap findings is down to FIA taking issue seriously


Lewis Hamilton says it is “imperative” the FIA severely punishes any budget cap breaches and hopes the delay in issuing certificates is due to the governing body taking the situation seriously.

The FIA was due to issue certificates of compliance on Wednesday, but amid speculation that both Red Bull and Aston Martin have breached the cap to varying degrees, the conclusion of the analysis was pushed back until Monday, October 10. Hamilton says he had been waiting for the results and wants to see firm action taken if any breaches have occurred.

“I think it’s imperative, honestly, just for transparency,” Hamilton said. “I think we need to continue to have transparency for the fans, for the integrity of the sport. I don’t really know enough about it. I know obviously there’s lots of conversations that are going on in the background. No one truly knows.

“There’s different numbers and different things being said here and there, so I was expecting those results — like you (media) — to come out yesterday. I would like to think that if it’s been delayed it’s because it’s been taken very seriously. I trust that Mohammed (Ben Sulayem, FIA president) is taking it seriously and will do what is right for the sport, I hope.

“I think 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 so I’ll wait, just as you will.”

Hamilton says he felt the impact of the constraints of the budget cap himself last year during his title fight with Max Verstappen, noting that it doesn’t take an enormous overspend to find a chunk of lap time.

“I remember last year as a driver, you were always asking for updates, updates, updates on things, whether it’s fuel, whatever it is. I remember in Silverstone when we got our last update — that was almost three tenths, I think that update, and I’m pretty certain it cost less than a million.

“But I remember after that needing more updates — but then seeing trucks…. updates continuing to arrive on the other car, thinking, ‘Jeez, it’s going to be hard to beat them in the championship if they keep bringing updates.’

“It’s so integral to development, the development race and if we had another half a million to spend we would have been in a different position at some of the following races if we had just bought another floor — which we could have easily done — but that’s not the name of the game.

“I’m grateful that our team is very strict, given the way we work and they do an amazing job. So it needs to be taken seriously, as I said.”