Johnny Herbert has called for the FIA to issue "tough" penalties should any teams be found to have breached the budget cap.
The governing body announced on 5 October that there would be a delay to their issuing of the Certificates of Compliance to the Financial Regulations, with this now set to take place on 10 October.
There has been much speculation among teams over whether any have broken the cost cap rules for 2021, and many have suggested that they hope to see firm action being taken against any outfit found to have breached the rules due to the potential for performance gains.
However, the FIA has reiterated that, until the matter has been finalised, there will not be any more information provided.
With the issue continuing to be a talking point, Herbert has given his take on the situation.
Herbert understands Hamilton's response
Lewis Hamilton was amongst those to react to the rumours, with the seven-time World Champion stating that any such issue must be "taken seriously", and Herbert says that he can understand Hamilton's viewpoint.
"I do, yes. Of course, we don't know exactly what the situation is at the present time. Hopefully Monday's when we'll really know," the former F1 driver told Sky Sports.
"But I can understand from a driver's point of view. You put your heart and soul in trying to put [together] the best performances that you possibly can within the cockpit of the car, to go as fast as you possibly can.
"Then you hear all these rumours that maybe that someone has overspent, and we all know that if that is the case, there's going to be an advantage from that.
"Of course, when that advantage is something you hear about and then maybe know about, that just makes it that much harder to then accept maybe certain situations that have happened in the past or [are] even happening at the present time.
"So I completely understand what his thinking may be, but we're not accountants, we don't really know the whole issue that has really gone on, so we'll have to wait and see exactly what it is."
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Should a "harsh" punishment follow in the case of any breaches?
Herbert feels that the important aspect of the matter will be in how the FIA choose to react should any breaches of the budget cap have been found.
"Whatever happens, if there is someone that has breached, then it's what they do as a penalty [that matters], because it would be the precedent that would be set for the future," Herbert said.
"And that will be the thing that the teams will be looking at, because that will then give them the direction for what they can do in the future, so it does mean a big thing to everybody here in the paddock, to [see] – if that is the case – exactly what penalty is put on a particular team that may be found guilty of that."
If there are any breaches discovered, Herbert believes that the punishment should be "harsh" in order to deter any future breaking of the rules.
"It's going to have to be tough, because the only way you're going to be able to try and stamp it out is be tough," the TV pundit commented.
"[That would mean that], if we get to this point once again, it's going to be a harsh penalty on you, and hopefully that will be something that will come our way, because I think that's what everybody would expect."
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