Lando Norris calls for ‘hefty penalty’ for any cost cap breaches amid Red Bull allegations

Lando Norris (right) believes any team that breaches the cost cap should get a 'hefty penalty'

Lando Norris backs Lewis Hamilton by insisting there should be a ‘hefty penalty’ for any cost cap breaches… amid allegations that world champion Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team exceeded the £114m limit last year

  • The FIA ​​elected to delay the release of teams’ accounts until Monday next week
  • It’s amid allegations that Red Bull exceeded the cap – which the team has denied
  • Lewis Hamilton said F1 would lose its integrity if breaches went unpunished
  • Lando Norris backs Hamilton saying any guilty team should get a ‘hefty penalty’

Lando Norris has thrown his support behind Lewis Hamilton as he backed up his fellow Brit’s plea to see the FIA ​​dole out heavy punishment for any cost cap breaches.

The story has been the talk of the paddock once again after the governing FIA elected to delay the release of the teams’ accounts from Wednesday until Monday next week amid allegations that Red Bull exceeded the £114million cap, something they continue to strenuously deny.

Hamilton said on Thursday that F1 would lose its integrity if breaches went unpunished and Norris, who backed that up, is convinced that one season breaching the cap can lead to years of sustained success.

Lando Norris (right) believes any team that breaches the cost cap should get a ‘hefty penalty’

Asked if punishments need to be severe, Norris was unequivocal in his answer.

‘Of course, I think because teams are trying to be as efficient as possible with every single thing that they do, any small amount over is, in any part of Formula One, a big advantage,’ the McLaren driver said.

‘Considering there has been such a rule applied to make things more comparable for everyone, give all teams a better chance at fighting, it’s just an unfair stat within the performance of Formula One.

‘There should be a pretty hefty penalty for whoever does cross the line.’

Lewis Hamilton believes the integrity of Formula One as a sport is at risk if Red Bull overspent on their cars last year and aren’t punished for exceeding the £114million cap

Max Verstappen won't be stripped of his 2021 title if Red Bull are found to have breached the cap rules

Max Verstappen won’t be stripped of his 2021 title if Red Bull are found to have breached the cap rules

Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week that Max Verstappen’s 2021 title is not at risk of being stripped from him but should findings set for Monday detail a breach from Red Bull drivers such as Norris and Hamilton will be front of the queue calling for sanctions.

‘The thing is, it doesn’t just benefit you for one single season,’ Norris added.

‘If it helps you in that first one to get going, it’s always kind of a knock on effect the next few years.’

There is an acceptance among drivers that the complexity of the case with the budget cap is difficult to get to the root of but aside from Verstappen, who had zero interest in entertaining the topic when asked for his thoughts, drivers have been forthcoming in their opinions as to what should happen to any rule-breakers.

Norris added any overspend from last season would have benefitted teams for future years

Norris added any overspend from last season would have benefitted teams for future years

Hamilton said Mercedes would have been Verstappen to the title if they could have spent more

Hamilton said Mercedes would have been Verstappen to the title if they could have spent more

‘If you can start a new era off on the right foot, then it’s only going to keep you ahead for a good amount of years until kind of everyone starts to catch up,’ he continued, ‘especially so early on, then it would make a big difference.’

Hamilton, who ran second-quickest in practice on Friday, was firm in his assessment that Mercedes would have beaten Verstappen and Red Bull to the 2021 title had they been able to spend more, in what was a thinly-veiled dig at his rivals.

‘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,’ he mused.

‘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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