Lewis Hamilton says the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship would have been different if Mercedes “spent 300,000” on car developments.
Max Verstappen won a controversial title on the last lap of the season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to pip Hamilton to the championship.
Last week, reports claimed two teams went over the limit of the $145 million budget cap with Red Bull and Aston Martin allegedly those who have broken the rules.
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It was expected that the FIA would announce their findings this week, but they announced there will be no news until Monday due to the “long and complex process”.
“I remember last year in Silverstone we had our last upgrade and fortunately it was great and we could fight with it,” Hamilton told Sky Sports ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bring in upgrades. They had, I think, at least four more upgrades from that point.
“If we spent 300,000 on a new floor or an adapted wing it would have changed the outcome of the championship, naturally, because we would have been in better competition in the next race you had it on. So I hope that that’s not the case, for the sport.”
The latest reports suggest Red Bull have allegedly had a “minor breach” of the financial regulations, which would be five per cent over the budget cap, which could lead to a deduction in championship points, or limitations on aerodynamic and wind tunnel testing.
This is the first time F1’s budget cap has been tested after it was introduced for the 2021 season.
Hamilton says he believes the FIA “will do what is right with whatever they find out” and that transparency “is always very important”.
“Particularly with all the fans that tune in and travel around the world,” added Hamilton.
“It’s important for all of us, all the people that are working, the thousands of people that are working, I think it’s important to have transparency throughout the organisation and accountability is something that we always have to hold true to.
“We’ve seen in previous years of the sport where things have been dealt with in the background. I don’t think that’s the new way forward with the new way of working with Mohammed [Ben Sulayem].
“I think integrity is very important to him as it is for F1 nowadays with the new management. So I think we have good people in place. I hope that we get the right governance.”
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