Toto Wolff sends FIA clear message on awarding Hamilton 2021 title

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Toto Wolff says he has no issues with Max Verstappen keeping his 2021 title but the FIA must use Red Bull’s budget cap breach to improve their communication moving forward. The integrity of the Dutchman’s first-ever triumph has been thrown into question this week after Red Bull committed a “minor” breach of the £114m cap last year, according to the governing body.

The FIA has since made an offer to this season’s leaders regarding an “accepted breach agreement.”

Details of the proposal have to remain confidential but would specify the penalty Red Bull will face should they accept they have breached the budget cap.

Red Bull continue to protest their innocence and should they wish to legally fight their corner, the matter will be resolved by an adjudication panel.

Mercedes chief Wolff has since told the FIA that he does not want Lewis Hamilton to be awarded the 2021 title but claims it must be a learning curve for ensuring the rules are complied with moving forward to create a fair playing field.

“I don’t know the exact excess, but one or two million can decide a championship. The FIA has to make a meaningful decision,” The Austrian said, as quoted by Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport.

“I just don’t think the 2021 title should be in doubt anymore.” What Wolff does like to see is a penalty that is clear and proportionate to the offence. Thinking mainly about the future, the team boss says: ‘This is useful for the future so that everything is fairer and clearer.'”

Wolff does believe Red Bull should be penalised though and he would expect the same punishment for Mercedes, adding: “The financial regulations are like the technical and sporting regulations. If you made a technical mistake, you get a penalty for it. That should also apply to the financial regulations, even if it is new.”

Hamilton lost a nail-biting Championship battle with Verstappen last season on the final lap after the FIA’s race director failed to apply the rules correctly in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The controversial climax left lasting mental strain on Hamilton, who later took his time to consider his future within the sport before confirming his desire to return for the 2022 season.

Meanwhile, the seven-time world champion has declared that if the FIA fail to show a strong position, other teams will seek to bend the rules with the budget cap – setting a dangerous precedent.

Hamilton said: “If they are relaxed with these rules, all the teams will just go over.

“Spending millions more and only having a slap on the wrist is not going to be great for the sport.”

He later added: “They might as well not have a cost cap in the future.”

Arch rival Verstappen is adamant rival teams are just trying to “slow down” Red Bull following the allegations against their operation.

“I think it’s mainly because, of course, we have been doing well. They try to slow us down in any way possible,” Verstappen declared ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

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