Hamilton says move towards heavier F1 cars is "ridiculous"

Rule changes that will result in heavier F1 cars next year are "ridiculous", according to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The sport's ruling body, the FIA, announced on Wednesday that teams have approved a rules revolution for 2017 that will mean wider, faster, but also heavier, cars.

From the current minimum of 702kg, the cars will go up to 722kg next year, plus whatever extra weight the wider tyres add.

"That is just ridiculous," Hamilton said when told about plans to make the cars heavier. "They were great at 600 kilos. It was easier for the tyres.

"The heavier you make the car, the more it's forcing the tyres so the tyres will feel even worse and there's more pressure on Pirelli to produce better tyres. And then more downforce..."

Weight problems

Hamilton has long made it clear that he is not happy with the feel of current F1 cars, and especially the way that the tyre characteristics means drivers have to conserve their rubber.

He revealed that he had spent some time at this week's Barcelona test trying to look into the details of why he felt the tyres did not deliver more right now.

"In the last few days I've been driving with these tyres and thinking to myself "Why is it so difficult? What are the physical challenges for Pirelli? And why is the car sliding the way it goes?

"I'm just realising when I got to Formula 1 the car was like 600 kilos, and now it's 100 kilos heavier. I think that makes a big difference.

"They don't have to change the regulations much to make the cars three seconds quicker, just make the cars lighter. They are super heavy."

Rule changes

Hamilton is sceptical that rule changes - such as the revised qualifying format - are what F1 needs. Instead he suggests that having better cars is the route that the sport should take.

"I don't think the regulations are fine, even if there was five teams battling," he added. "I'd like a different kind of car.

"But I don't have all the answers, I just have a preferred type of car I'd like to drive. I love a V12 and big, wider tyres."

The Briton also admitted that last year's Pirelli tyres were more to his liking that the new ones.

"It's not better, that for sure. It just feels like a harder tyres. It's not giving me any more grip. I think I prefer last year's."

Qualifying system won't change much

The Mercedes driver also reckons the new qualifying system approved by F1 chiefs is unlikely to change anything.

"I don't really feel like it's going to change much, to be honest," Hamilton added. "I hope it's a surprise for us all and it does.

"I guess it just puts even more focus on making sure you get your laps in, I guess keeping people out, making sure everyone's out all the time, so I think it may be good for the spectators."

He insisted F1 chiefs should pay more attention to what drivers have to say when formulating new rules.

"I think the drivers should be consulted and be involved more. We do have some ideas of what could be better.

"We do know what's not good in the car, particularly the drivers who have been driving for 10-15 years. We've been through all the different rule changes and know which ones worked and which ones didn't."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news