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Wolff: 'Not realistic' to remove Verstappen's title

The Mercedes team principal thinks it is not possible to go back on the 2021 championship, after Red Bull were found to have breached the cost cap.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes it is not possible to remove Max Verstappen's championship title, despite Red Bull being found to have committed a minor breach of the Formula 1 cost cap. Over the course of the United States Grand Prix weekend, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been in talks with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner over what sort of penalty should be levied towards the team. If the team elects to not enter an Accepted Breach Agreement, they could be subject to a point deduction in the 2021 World Championship. However Wolff expects this outcome to be unlikely due to the nature of the cost cap violation from Red Bull. "I don't know the size of the violation, but one or two million [overrun] can already decide a championship," Wolff told La Gazzetta Dello Sport. "The FIA ​​must make the right choice and the penalty must reflect the violation. "I don't think you can go back to the 2021 world title [for Verstappen] because with a smaller violation that is, according to the rules, not realistic. But it should be fairer and clearer in the future."

Financial regulations just as important as technical and sporting rules

Penalties vary in F1 depending on the nature of the infraction. If a team or driver commits a sporting infraction, they will likely not be penalised as harshly compared to a technical infringement. A case in point would be Lewis Hamilton being disqualified from qualifying at last years Brazilian Grand Prix, due to a rear wing infringement. At the same race Max Verstappen was fined for touching Hamilton's rear wing in parc ferme, which is considered to be a sporting infringement. Wolff believes the financial regulations should fall under the same scrutiny as these, considering the performance benefits that could be yielded later on. "The Financial Regulations are just as important as the technical and sporting rules," said Wolff. "If you are disqualified for a technical violation, you should be able to get that for a violation of the financial regulations. Even though these rules are new. "There must be an adequate penalty. There are enough rumours, but the FIA ​​has to decide in the end."

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