It comes after German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport claimed the team had broken the budget cap by as much as £9million ($10mil). This would be higher than a five per cent threshold which would be deemed a minor violation meaning Red Bull could be hit with tough sanctions.
What penalties do Red Bull face?
The FIA have confirmed they are investigating teams’ budget costs from last season and are expected to issue confirmation certificates on Wednesday. However, they have warned teams which do not meet the criteria could be punished as set out by the regulations.
The penalties they could opt for include being deducted world championship points and even exclusion from the championship.
What does this mean for Lewis Hamilton?
If some of the toughest penalties are applied, Lewis Hamilton could still be crowned the 2021 world champion. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claimed Red Bull has been “investigated” for weeks and months over possible breaches.
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He said any overspending would put other teams at a “disadvantage” and revealed the costs could impact for three straight seasons.
Wolff commented: “If it’s true they’ve homologated a lightweight chassis this year then they may use it next year. It’s a cascade of events that can be influential in all three championships. We are using used parts, we are not running what we would want to run, we are not developing what we could be developing, and we made more than 40 people redundant that are dearly missed in our organisation.”
Wolff also sat down for talks with Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto for over an hour on Friday as the rumours emerged.
What has Lewis Hamilton said?
The seven-time champion was asked about the issue ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. The Mercedes star praised FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem and backed him to be “clear with the rules”.
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Hamilton stressed it needed to be taken seriously but didn’t know if the rumours were true or not. He added: “I’ve not really given it much attention, to be honest. It’s all whispers at the moment. I don’t know enough about it to be able to make a sensible comment.
“I’m not thinking particularly anything. I’m proud of my team for the diligence that they’ve done to run to the rules.”
What has Red Bull said?
Red Bull have denied any wrongdoing, claiming the reports were “speculation”. Team boss Christain Horner has also bit back at Mercedes and Ferrari for making the “defamatory” remarks.
He said the comments were “bang out of order” and has even threatened to take legal action against teams.