Formula 1 fans at next weekend’s US Grand Prix are tipped to be ‘very confused’ over the consequences of the budget cap overspend and whether Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton won last year’s world title. Red Bull were found by the FIA to have breached the budget cap introduced last season, but their punishment is unknown and could also impact the outcome of this year’s championship.
After delaying their review into last year’s financial reports, the FIA announced on Monday that Red Bull were the only team to commit a ‘minor overspend’ of the £114million budget cap. The announcement came a day after Verstappen celebrated winning his second championship in as many years with a win at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The actual financial cap discrepancy is believed to be around £1.8m and McLaren are amongst the constructors who have called for “swift” action to punish Red Bull. The constructor are expected to be hit with a financial sanction or a ‘minor sporting penalty’ as a result of their breach.
However, it is unclear if any sporting penalty will apply to last year’s or this year’s world championship title. If it applies to 2021’s championship then Hamilton could be crowned victor, while if points are deducted from this year’s championship than Verstappen might need to earn more points to secure victory.
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Writing for a column in The Sun, Jeremy Clarkson says the whole situation will leave fans confused at next week’s US Grand Prix. He said: “The sport’s governing body says that his team, Red Bull, spent too much money building his car. And that there must be a punishment.
“So what is the punishment? Ah, well, they haven’t decided that yet. He may have some champion-ship points deducted. But from which year? Nope. They haven’t decided that either.