Lewis Hamilton says the future of Formula 1’s budget cap depends on the punishment Red Bull are given for breaching it last year.
Red Bull committed a “minor” breach of the $145m (£114m) cap last year, governing body the FIA has said.
Hamilton said: “If they are relaxed with these rules, all the teams will just go over.
“Spending millions more and only having a slap on the wrist is not going to be great for the sport.”
He added: “They might as well not have a cost cap in the future.”
The FIA has made an offer to Red Bull for the terms of what is known as an “accepted breach agreement” for them breaching the cost cap.
The offer, the details of which are confidential, specifies the penalty the FIA would hand out if Red Bull accept they breached the cap.
Red Bull, who continue to insist that they were within the cap in 2021, have the choice of accepting they were in breach and taking the penalty, or fighting the judgement.
If they contest it, the matter will go to an adjudication panel of independent experts in financial law to decide whether Red Bull were in breach and what penalty to impose.
Hamilton lost a tight championship fight with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in 2021 in controversial circumstances after the FIA’s race director failed to apply the rules correctly in a safety-car period at the final race of the season.
Asked for his reaction to the FIA’s announcement and what consequences Red Bull should face, Hamilton said: “The integrity of the sport is where the decisions hopefully will be made.
“I do believe Mohammed [ben Sulayem, the FIA president] and his team will make the right decisions, I have to believe that. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. What they [Red Bull] have done is done.”
Red Bull have not commented on the matter publicly since releasing a statement last week insisting that they believed they were within the cap.