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Lewis Hamilton 'concerned' F1 teams have breached 2022 cost cap after lack of 'big punishment' for Red Bull

The FIA have dismissed recent reports claiming that at least two teams have breached the 2022 F1 cost cap; watch all sessions from the Hungarian GP live on Sky Sports F1, starting with P1 on Friday at 12pm; F1 Juniors is live on Sky Showcase and Sky Sports Mix on Sunday

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Lewis Hamilton says it is a 'concern' that some teams could be tempted to breach the cost cap rules if the punishments are not enough of a deterrent.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he is "concerned" that teams have breached the 2022 Formula 1 cost cap as a result of the lack of a "big punishment" for Red Bull's 2021 overspend.

Reports originating from Italy and Germany ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix have claimed that at least two F1 teams have gone over the 2022 cost cap.

The FIA have dismissed those reports, insisting the auditing process is ongoing and no decisions have been made.

Red Bull were found guilty of a "minor overspend" in 2021, the first season in which the cost cap was active, and received a $7m fine plus a 10 per cent reduction to their wind tunnel time for this season.

Asked by Sky Sports about the prospect of teams having gone over the $135m limit for last season, Hamilton, who was narrowly beaten to the drivers' title by Red Bull's Max Verstappen in 2021, said: "It's definitely a concern.

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Sky Sports F1's David Croft reacts to reports that multiple teams have breached the sport's 2022 cost cap.

"I mean, there wasn't really a big punishment last time, so there's no real...

"There will be people that will probably go for it again and know they're just going to get a slap on the wrist."

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Despite their wind tunnel penalty, Red Bull have won all 10 races to start the 2023 season and are seeking a record 12th successive victory - stretching back to final race of 2022 - this weekend in Budapest.

What to watch on Sky Sports this week

The 151st Open – July 20 to 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports Golf
Fourth Men’s Ashes Test – July 19 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Premier League Summer Series – from July 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Hungarian Grand Prix – July 21 to 23 - LIVE on Sky Sports F1
F1 Juniors: Hungarian GP – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Mix
World Matchplay Darts – July 17 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Women’s World Matchplay Darts – July 22 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action

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The auditing fieldwork to see if the 10 teams are within the budget cap is ongoing and will be concluded in the coming weeks.

A period for the finalisation of the review will follow and any suggestions of delays to the process or potential breaches are understood to be completely unfounded.

The CCA (Cost Cap Adjudication) panel will formally communicate its findings later this year and there is no fixed time frame in order not to prejudice the robustness and the effectiveness of the review.

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Sky F1's Craig Slater reports on rumours of teams breaching the cost cap, which the FIA say are 'factually wrong'.

Almost all of the leading F1 teams have indicated they have not breached the budget cap and are continuing to work with the FIA.

While Red Bull were the only team to overspend in 2021 and receive a sporting penalty, Williams and Aston Martin were also fined for procedural breaches.

Hamilton: Mercedes contract extension 'very, very close'

Speaking at the Hungaroring on Thursday, Hamilton also confirmed he is "very, very close" to agreeing a contract extension with Mercedes.

The seven-time world champions' current deal expires at the end of the season, but both he and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff have repeatedly expressed confidence that an extension will be agreed.

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Relive Lewis Hamilton's stunning fight for second at Silverstone with fellow Brit Lando Norris.

Hamilton said he did not expect the deal to be completed and announced before F1's summer break, which follows next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

"It might be announced at the end of the year, I don't know," he said.

"Honestly, I just don't have any more information for you to share this week. It's with the lawyers, back and forth."

Unlike with previous contract negotiations, Hamilton has relied kept himself removed from the discussions, leaving that to his management team and lawyers.

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Despite being 38, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton could be in the sport for at least another four years.

"I've not been a part of it the whole time," he added. "I've been removed from it from the beginning.

"I wanted to be able to focus on all the other things that I have going on. The team are working on it in the background.

"There's no negotiation left, it's just all the small bits."

Russell: Second time offenders should be punished more

George Russell said: "If anyone has breached any regulation, you want the punishment to represent the crime and I think there were breaches last year and clearly the punishment didn't fit the crime.

"We don't want to see that happen again. If it's a second time offender, the punishment should be even greater than what is perhaps a fair punishment, if it happens two years in a row.

"I trust in the FIA, I think Mohammed (Ben Sulayem) is a great force there as well. They won't let anyone get away with anything that shouldn't have happened under their watch, so I've got faith in them."

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In the press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, George Russell joked that the F1 Juniors could replace lead commentator David Croft in the future!

Sky Sports F1's live Hungarian GP schedule

Friday July 21
8:55am: F3 Practice
10am: F2 Practice
12pm: Hungarian GP Practice One (session starts 12:30pm)
2pm: F3 Qualifying
2:45pm: F2 Qualifying
3:40pm: Hungarian GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)
5:15pm: The F1 Show

Saturday July 22
8:45am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: Hungarian GP Practice Three (session starts 11:30am)
1:10pm: F2 Sprint
2:15pm: Hungarian GP Qualifying build-up (Sky Showcase)
5pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

Sunday July 23
7:20am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
11am: Porsche Supercup
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday - Hungarian GP build-up
1:30pm: F1 Juniors: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sky Sports Mix and Sky Showcase)
4pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
5pm: Ted's Notebook

Daniel Ricciardo's return and first F1 Juniors broadcast headline the Hungarian Grand Prix! Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from July 21-23. Stream the Hungarian GP and more with NOW for £21 a month.

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