Lewis Hamilton says Red Bull Racing's cost cap breach has reignited the "soul-crushing" feeling of losing the 2021 Drivers' title in controversial fashion. The Austrian team has been found guilty of going over the $145 million cost cap that was set by the FIA for all teams last season.

Red Bull are fighting to prove their innocence, while the FIA has yet to announce the severity of the punishment for their minor breach. A number of teams, including Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari, have called for a harsh punishment as they feel the breach is tantamount to cheating.

Hamilton has been vocal in questioning Red Bull's breach and imploring the FIA to take a serious look in order to maintain the integrity of the sport. The British racer endured one of the most bitter battles of his career in 2021 as he fought for the title against Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the world championship in Japan with his Red Bull teammates
AFP News

The Mercedes driver lost his grasp on a record-breaking eighth world title after then-race director Michael Masi made a controversial decision in relation to safety car regulations. Verstappen managed to overtake Hamilton on the final lap of the season finale in Abu Dhabi to claim his maiden F1 Drivers' championship.

Red Bull's cost cap breach has raised questions about the legitimacy of their win last season. The seven-time world champion has been at the forefront, and has now revealed that the trauma from the season finale in 2021 was reignited after he had suppressed it ahead of the 2022 campaign.

"That, for sure, brings up a little bit of emotion, because you kind of buried it and moved on, and then it comes back up and it's like another bit of a kick," Hamilton told BBC Sport.

"That just bought it all kind of fresh again, so then [it was a case of] just getting back into the phase of just suppressing it and moving forwards."

In the immediate aftermath of the 2021 fiasco, Hamilton disappeared from the public eye for almost two months. Questions were raised about his future in the sport with many claiming that he will not return, but the Briton returned, and has now revealed the main cause for his disappointment towards the sport.

"What really was breaking was to just believe that the sport would do something like that, that that would happen, given that there are so many people you rely on. You expect that the job would be done right," Hamilton added.

Hamilton remains grateful to his family with whom he spent his two month hiatus from the outside world. The 37-year-old is now determined to claim his eighth title, and is keen to extend his stay with Mercedes beyond 2023 when his current deal expires.

Lewis Hamilton
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was named as an investor in the new ownership group of the NFL's Denver Broncos AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON