Paddock speculation that Red Bull and Aston Martin may have been in breach of the 2021 financial regulations dominated the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. 

The topic has rumbled on into the Japanese Grand Prix after the FIA delayed the publication of its inquiries into whether any team did violate last year’s $145m budget cap. 

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Certificates of compliance were expected to be issued to teams on Wednesday, but the FIA is now set to release the certificates on Monday 10 October, stating "the analysis of financial submissions is a long and complex process that is ongoing.” 

Ahead of the weekend, Mercedes driver Russell said he trusts in F1’s governing body to “bring an appropriate punishment” for any team found to have overspent. 

“It’s not my duty to dive into those details and I’ll just sit and wait and see what the results are on Monday,” Russell said on Thursday during the FIA press conference at Suzuka. 

"But I just know from our experience within Mercedes, how hard the whole team have worked to stay within that cost cap - we know we can bring more performance to the table if we had more money to spend, and it’s as simple as that. 

“I trust in Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president] and the FIA to bring an appropriate punishment for anyone who’s found guilty of the charges accused. 

“It should be quite straightforward and you’d expect that the amount that’s gone over should be the amount that’s taken off for next year’s budget, and probably a bit more on top of that, as a punishment. But let’s wait and see.”

Mercedes and Ferrari have been particularly vocal about the policing of the cost cap, claiming the rumoured breaches are an “open secret” in the F1 paddock. 

The comments from rival camps drew a furious response from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who threatened legal action if the accusations were not withdrawn, and expressed confidence that his side’s submission is in line with the financial regulations. 

“Speaking about ourselves of course if we have more to spend you will go faster on track,” Ferrari’s Leclerc added. “So if there’s any team found guilty of that, they should be punished. 

“Then what’s the punishment? I’m not the one to decide, but for sure it should be punished.”