Lewis Hamilton has warned Formula One chiefs to abandon plans to increase the amount of downforce F1 cars can produce or risk creating processional races.
The Mercedes driver believes F1 should seek greater performance from tyres instead of relaxing restrictions on aerodynamic development. Last month the FIA said a proposal had been agreed to give more freedom to car designers to increase downforce from next season.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the rules and whether the drivers should be more involved in decision making,” said Hamilton. “It’s not our job to come up with ideas and we all have different opinions anyway.”
“But personally, I think we need more mechanical grip and less aero wake coming off the back of the cars so we can get close and overtake.”
The FIA believes a substantial decrease in lap times will result from the changes but Hamilton believes it will come at the expense of racing.
“Give us five seconds’ worth of lap time from aero and nothing will change,” he said, “we’ll just be driving faster.”
“I speak as somebody who loves this sport and loves racing. I don’t have all the answers – but I know that the changes we’re making won’t deliver better racing.”
The world champion believes Ferrari’s pace in the race was an encouraging sign the competition will be closer this year. “I’m excited at the thought of more races like Melbourne,” he said.
“There are going to be weekends where we’re a few seconds up the road from Ferrari, races where it’s wheel to wheel and races where they might be ahead. We really don’t know – and that’s exciting.”
2016 F1 season
- Are tickets too dear? Crowds fell at some tracks in 2016
- F1’s TV audience decline stopped in 2016
- Brawn among key F1 hires announced by Liberty
- Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016
- Brundle reveals Monaco GP heart attack