Lewis Hamilton Is Right: Formula One's Integrity Must Be Questioned

The FIA have a big decision ahead, if Red Bull are found guilty of overspending
15:00, 06 Oct 2022

Lewis Hamilton dealt with Max Verstappen’s title win last campaign with incredible maturity. As he climbed out of the car at Abu Dhabi, it was clear for everybody watching that race director Michael Masi had interfered with the final result, but the Brit managed to keep his composure. 

He didn’t blow his lid, despite emotions running at an all time high. He was gracious despite the most controversial finish to an F1 season, and stood on the podium alongside the new world champion. But as this season has worn on, one of huge disappointment for Mercedes, revelations of overspending from Red Bull have seen the frustrations grow from Hamilton himself. 

Verstappen will not lose his world title, but the FIA are being pushed to act if they are found guilty of breaking the £114m spending cap in 2021. If they don’t enforce a strict punishment that could affect Red Bull heading into next season, then the integrity of the sport must be called into question. 


Hamilton knows this, and even though he has tried his best to stay out of it, he is once again being drawn into a messy situation. 

“It’s not something I hadn’t been thinking about, 2021, during this season,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think I don’t know enough about it. Obviously there’s whispers of all these different things so I can’t say anything really.

“But what I can say is I remember last year in Silverstone we had our last upgrade and fortunately it was great and we could fight with it.

“But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bringing upgrades. They had, I think, at least four more upgrades from that point.

“If we spent 300,000 on a new floor, or adapted a wing, it would have changed the outcome of the championship naturally because we would have been in better competition in the next race if you add it on.

“So I hope that that’s not the case. And I just hope that, I do believe Mohammed [Ben Sulayem] and the FIA will do what is right with whatever they find out. So that’s what we have to have faith in.”

The integrity of F1 came under scrutiny throughout that campaign. At Silverstone, Hamilton got the win having come into contact with Verstappen to close the gap to just eight points. But his issue comes with the upgrades Red Bull brought in after that British Grand Prix. Given Mercedes went toe-to-toe with Christian Horner’s side over the second half of that campaign and their two main drivers went into the final race of the season level on points, it does make you wonder how the standings would have looked. 

There have always been dominant teams in the sport, but you have to be dominant within the parameters of the rules. Otherwise, Formula One loses all credibility. 

“1,000%, I think transparency is always essential,” Hamilton said when asked about the integrity of the sport. Without naming Red Bull, he made his feeling quite clear. 

“It'll put in question our values, the integrity of the sport.

“I remember last year as a driver, you were always asking for updates, updates, updates on things, whether it's fuel, whatever it is. 

“And I remember in Silverstone when we got our last update and I remember that was almost three tenths, and I'm pretty certain it cost less than a million.

“But I remember after that needing more updates - but then seeing trucks of 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'.

“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 were 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.” 

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