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Mercedes hint F1 budget cap saga may go to court as Red Bull await potential penalty – Express

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Toto Wolff has suggested the FIA’s budget cap investigation could end up in court as the fiasco continues into a second weekend. The Mercedes boss said the decision could end up at an adjudication panel and eventually the International Court of Appeal (ICA).
However, the Austrian stressed he had “zero doubt” the case would be handled in the right way as the system was “super robust”. It comes after Auto Motor und Sport suggested Mercedes’ rivals Red Bull breached the budget cap by around £9million ($10mil).
Wolff told Speedcafe.com: “If it doesn’t come to the settlement agreement, because either the team doesn’t want to do it, or the FIA thinks it needs to go to the Cost Cap Adjudication Panel, then there is a group of judges, independent judges, that are going to look at the regulations and the case and come to a conclusion whether they should be penalised or not.
“If the team is not happy with the outcome, then you can still go to the ICA and appeal there. So it’s a lengthy process, but I think super robust in terms of the governance.
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“I have zero doubt that this is going to be handled in the right way and transparent – contrary to what we had in the past sometimes. Independent lawyers, maybe also judges, but people that have no involvement in Formula One, people that have been brought forward as top in their league.”
It has since emerged the true value of Red Bull’s overspending is likely to be significantly lower. Journalist Alexandre Braeckman, per F1i, claimed the team broke the rules by just £131,000 ($150,000) after an appeal.
If the figure is correct, Red Bull are likely to only face a fine instead of more severe sanctions. The team faced losing world championship points for a major overspend which could have seen Max Verstappen stripped of his world title.
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Lewis Hamilton has demanded the issue is not be swept under the carpet but also has faith in the FIA’s new president, Mohammed ben Sulayem, to look into the issue. Speaking on Thursday, Hamilton commented: “I think transparency is always very important.
“Particularly with all the fans that tune in and travel around the world. It’s important for us, all the thousands of people that are working. It’s important to have transparency throughout the organisation. Accountability is something we always have to hold true to. We have seen in previous years of the sport where things have been dealt with in the background.
“I don’t think that’s the new way forward with the new way of working with Mohammed. I think integrity is very important to him and as it is to F1 these days with the new management. We have good people in place. I hope we get the right governance.”
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