Written by Michael Golovach, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
It's a no-brainer that the 2021 Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi wasn't one without controversy. The dramatic conclusion of the season has raised numerous questions over the FIA’s decisions, including those regarding the budget cap regulations.
Obviously, the biggest talking point last season was Red Bull versus Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton against Max Verstappen, and their battle wasn't just taking place on track. It's all about the so-called "upgrades race" which is about teams keen on bringing the fastest, most powerful and aerodynamically-efficient machinery to benefit from it as much as possible. In a highly competitive sport like Formula One, it is a constant power struggle between teams, as each team looks to bring more efficient upgrades compared to their rivals.
Plenty of money is spent by teams on upgrading their cars, but the most important caveat here is - everything must be under the regulated cost cap limit.
Teams are not allowed to overshoot the cost cap limit, and in the event of them doing so, they might be heavily penalised. This can range from additional fines, reduced wind tunnel time, losing Constructors Points in the Standings, to even being disqualified from the Championship.
Having had such a high cost of failure from going over the limit, and considering the latest chinwag over the cost cap investigations and calculations by the FIA, it brings me to the point of this article.
In one of the interviews, Sir Lewis Hamilton was asked about his opinion on that 2021 Season finale, and the way Red Bull in particular have performed it.
In his words:
"I remember in Silverstone we had our last upgrade, and fortunately it was great, we could fight with it" - stated Lewis.
"But then we would see Red Bull every weekend or every other weekend bringing upgrades. They had at least 4 more upgrades from that point."
"If we spent 300k on a new floor, or an adapted wing, it would have changed the outcome of the Championship naturally, because we would've been in better condition."
It might be a bit controversial, or others may have a lot of different thoughts on this, and I honestly do I accept that people might feel negative about it, but the very point of his words states that if Mercedes would have gone over the limit, they would have had a better shaped car to win that Championship.
As Lewis says:
"I hope that's not the case. I do believe that Mohammed and the FIA will do what is right, with whatever they find out."
Considering the latest speculations about the fairness of Red Bull following the regulations, they might have very well gone over the limit in 2021, therefore being able to build a better car that was more capable of taking the crown, than Mercedes.
Now, I accept that these are only rumours, at the moment, and it is not officially stated, but I truly hope, repeating Lewis' words, authorities at the FIA make an independent, fair and rule-following verdict in the coming days.