Planned rules changes won’t improve racing – Hamilton

2016 F1 season

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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.”

Hamilton overtook Felipe Massa early in the Australian Grand Prix but became stuck behind Max Verstappen shortly afterwards, complaining to his team he couldn’t pass the Toro Rosso.

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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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82 comments on “Planned rules changes won’t improve racing – Hamilton”

  1. While I am not a big Lewis fan he does, on this occasion, seem to be talking sense. The current regs mean the cars loose down force when trying to follow closely and that in turn destroys tyres. So less aero and more mechanical grip does seem to be a great idea.
    I don’t know about anyone else but I really don’t care what the lap times are but I do want to see drivers battling for position.

    1. I am not a Lewis fan but agree with him 100%!!!!

    2. Ditto. Speed and follow-my-leader, or a bit slower and side by side racing? I know what I’d vote for.

    3. “lose”, not “loose”.

      1. I really don’t get the whole, “mechanical grip” band wagon. Without merc/redbull/Ferrari levels of aero surely you cannot apply enough downforce to prevent tyres sliding and you’ll just end up either as slow as a monor or drivers conserving tyres like Perez just to do one less stop. I personally like the strategic element that pirelli has brought and it’ll be a shame to lose that just so drivers can sprint from start to finish on indestructible tyres, which won’t even ensure any overtaking because of the performance difference between the cars from engine. I think the 2017 regs are just saying what some people are asking for is impossible, you cant have the fastest cars without massive amounts of aero so we’ll just make the cars faster because we’ll just end up with GP2 speeds.
        On a side note, I think formula 1 has needs to identify what it wants to be, personally I think it’s (I want it to be) a constructors championship with the drivers championship as the side show and that narrative should be put out there a bit more because frankly what they build is awesome (in the past were the ‘garagistas’, and they were applauded).I love the fact that redbull can challenge in monaco/singapore/hungary, williams can challenge in austria/monza, ferrari can perform better on softer tyres. This is the reason merc, ferrari, honda, redbull, williams and McLaren are participating, to show the world they are the best at what they do not to make Lewis or Seb WDC.

        1. I agree it should be more emphasising the constructors championship with a drivers championship on the side.
          It is possible to increase mechanical grip without additional downforce wake. Bigger Grippier tyres are the first obvious enhancement. More permitted ground effect will also help mechanical grip without the need for bigger external wake inducing wings.
          This is f1 and if the regs said wake no more than x, the designers would build to that.

          1. Using more extensive ground effects and reducing the complexity of frontwings in the current incarnation of cars will just lead to more rear end downforce without any front end downforce to balance it. In my view this will just lead to slower lap times. Moreover air leaving the diffuser is directed upwards and not straight to the front wing of the chasing car, tyres will still leave turbulent air behind too, so no matter how hard you try following will still be a challenge and to overtake there has to be a massive pace differential, long straight with slow corner (cannot overtake in high speed corners without balanced downforce).
            I think car designs are ok i’d like them to be 2-3s/lap faster in the race, tyres might need a bit of tweaking but i like pirelli’s phylosophy. if lewis can’t follow Ves closely tough luck for him and the team think of an alternative strategy and he shouldn’t be there in the first place otherwise it’ll be just like passing backmarkers because of the mercs pace if he could tailgate ves.
            P.S being able to follow closely will not change the fact that merc has the best cars, just that mid field might see a bit more overtaking

    4. +1

      I can’t get why they can’t get rid of aerodynamic downforce and add it from tyres…

      1. Because no one will be able to go through Aue rouge or silverstone’s maggots and beckets at the current insane speeds (a spectacle i’m yet to witness live) without launching themselves over the pearly gates of heaven strapped to the remains of an f1 monocoque.

  2. I disagree a bit, and also fully agree.

    Mercedes is optimised for clean air running. Following another car greatly hurts its downforce…

    If just given 5s more of the same, f1 cars will struggle to overtake. True. But aero rules could also be writen in a way to:

    A prevent excessive clean air optimisation on front wing
    B require the airflow behind the car to be sufficiently clean.
    C introduce more downforce generating areas less vulnerable to uneven airflow.

    There is also a fourth option… D More mechanical grip, reducing effect of aero.

    Hamilton dreams of ideal gokart like scenario where he follows the next car within 20cm and overtakes everyone to take the flag…

    So what rules were agreed so far?

    Bigger floor area, C check, wider cars, D check, larger tires D check, larger diffuser C check. Lower rear wing C check.. Pirelli asked to make more durable tires D check..

    As you see there are no A or B checks… Who was it, Pat Symonds who said it is easier to make car behind you slow, than your car fast? B would help this out a lot… Simply making a rule, how much the air behind the car can be disturbed and uneven. This also reduces drag, so not entierly bad for performamce..

    And finaly A, front wing complexities must be reduced, or rules introduced to ensure front wing retains certain % of downforce following another car.

    There you go ABCD of fixing F1 technical issue.

    Lewis Hamilton approach is straight forward, and only requires Pirelli to abandon current tire technology and introduce old tech, that was mastered long time ago. But more comprehansive solution would be worthwhile.

    1. How do you police on track air flow?

    2. Mercedes only won because Ferrari messed up the tire call during the red flag. That is not domination.

      1. What the past two years then get back to us, also season just started so we have no idea how strong Merc is vs Ferrari, bad clutch starts from both drivers as has been the case before, helped Ferrari. So while you sit here and claim “ah Merc got lucky, they aint nothin” like you have it all figured out, perhaps look at the entire picture. Or just don’t.

    3. “A prevent excessive clean air optimisation on front wing”

      I find it hard to optimise the front wing for dirty air. Is it even possible?

    4. “B” is a pipe dream. Completely impossible to police.

  3. “Give us five seconds’ worth of lap time from aero and nothing will change,” he said, “we’ll just be driving faster.”

    A thing some fans seem to be happy about but a proper majority of the hardcore fan is strongly against. I really cannot care whether they’d go 5 or even 10 seconds faster. I know we could have cars going 10 seconds faster, that tech is already existant, but I watch F1 partly because of its technology but first and foremost for it’s racing.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      29th March 2016, 22:33

      @xtwl – Totally agree. When you say “hardcore fan”, you really mean fans with any technical knowledge! It’s so obvious that these changes aren’t going to improve racing! Read some of the articles from this site in relation to the 2009 regs where aero was cut.

      Why is F1 going backwards!? 5 seconds is a decent jump in lap time but it’s almost like cheating… They haven’t got the formula right yet – they need to get the tyres and regs right so the drivers can race each other and then look to improve lap time.

  4. So this guy has the most dominant car in the history of f1 and he keeps complaining. Its come to a point where I can’t tolerate seeing a Mercedes on the road, this is not like the red bull era. We have a severely overrated guy unable to pilot a superior car. Just shut up and drive.

    1. Really?! Maybe he just knows and loves F1 a bit more than you do!

    2. It’s hard to take your point seriously when you’re calling a multi-time world champion ‘severely overrated’. Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of the facts.

      1. There are ten drivers that are better than him with ease.

        1. I would say there are 4 or 5 drivers with nothing between them and it comes down to any given Sunday if all cars were equal and I would put Hamilton in that group of drivers. I do not like him but I will admit he is very good.

        2. You’re of course entitled to your opinion, but where is your evidence? Ten? I challenge you to name them please. With evidence.

          1. Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Jr, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, and Sergio Perez.

        3. You honestly believe that Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, Jr, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, and Sergio Perez are better drivers than Lewis Hamilton? Not sure what criteria you’re using, but it’s clearly not the same as mine.

          Obviously, it’s too soon to tell with Max Verstappen, but he’s the only one of the current crop of young drivers who might one day join the current greats we have now: Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso, all of whom are probably as good as each other really.

          I know many will disagree with me, but most of your list aren’t even as good as Jenson Button, and he’s a World Champion who has finished higher in recent seasons than:

          2015) Fernando Alonso
          2014) Kevin Magnussen
          2013) Sergio Perez (who YOU claim is better than Hamilton)

          1. Lol, there might be plenty of ways to decide how good Lewiz is… But take a look at any.. And I say ANY stat, he is amongst the greatest ever. And I think current drivers are the greatest of all times… I am sure Senna in 2016 if 30 years old would struggle against Lewis Hamilton…

            However there is an age old saying… You are only as good as your last race.. And many drivers were better in last race… So I give you that.

            Given all that, He is the reigning double world champion, unable to pass a car infront of him due to laws of physics.. So he complains of regulations…

            Who is in better position to make a better case about overtaking than Lewis Hamilton in 2016 Oz GP?

    3. RaceProUK (@)
      29th March 2016, 12:37

      Fans: “The racing needs to be more exciting!”
      Hamilton: “The racing needs to be more exciting!”
      Fans: “Hamilton should just shut up and drive!”

      It’s amazing how often this pattern repeats itself. Depressing, too.

      1. I personally have been harsh previously on Lewis Hamilton but I must concede, and I am more than happy to do so, he is growing everyday and has improved vastly in regards to his communication skills as of late. He is a champion driver and I have faith he will champion many other things as well. Far more than I ever will – I hope so. If people wish to bag him out, bag out anyone for that matter, let’s try and be constructive and try and get the best out of people. Granted sometimes that takes being harsh. :-) I welcome anyone doing it to me – as long as it is constructive!!!!!

      2. For some fans, Lewis Hamilton is always wrong. No matter what he does, or how well he does it, he’s wrong.

        I’m not sure any other driver in F1 history has had that effect.

      3. Give it a rest. You same Hammy fans were saying “It’s all his car” for years when SV was winning.

        Now that it’s happening to your pony, u get bent out of shape? Lol

        #goose #gander

    4. People like you keep finding the smallest and stupidest of reasons to hate on Lewis don’t you. I’m not really a Lewis fan, but so far this year he has been talking sense. Despite having the fastest car on the grid, he still wants closer racing and I respect that. You would expect him to be content with the rules as they are, but he actually cares about what the fans want, unlike Vettel who enjoyed being out in front all the time and I don’t blame him for that as I’m sure every driver would, but everyone else, mostly the fans, would find it boring. I’m surprised that you are unhappy with his statements, as surely you would want closer racing too, no?

    5. ”Good, good…let the hate flow through you.” ;)

    6. I 100% disagree. I’ve been waiting for years for some of the drivers to call for more mechanical grip over aero to improve following cars. Finally they do it, and comments like this appear. For me, these comments are long overdue, although I wish Hamilton was part of the GPDA and stand alongside his colleagues.

      1. @john-h See my post below…JV was saying this nearly 20 years ago.

      2. I take these comments of Hamilton to fit with him being in agreement with what the GDPA is doing and making that known, despite not being a member @john-h

    7. @Equinox Lewis is not complaining – he is trying to help the sport – even if it doesn’t help him personally. I for one want close, hard fought racing where the car that is following has the opportunity to overtake.

      The only way to do that is to reduce the reliance on downforce for grip, and increase the reliance on tyres.

    8. Also I think it’s very early in the season to say “the most dominant car in F1 history” given then performance in Australia I wouldn’t call the car dominant at all, a more apt description would be fast & competitive. This isn’t 2014, or 2015.

      I get the feeling it’s more about “Lewis said this so I’m going to disagree regardless, until my favourite driver says the same thing and then I’ll agree with them.”

    9. “…a severely overrated guy unable to pilot a superior car”. Seriously? Hamilton’s 21 wins, 33 podiums, and 2 WDCs over the last 2 seasons clearly show otherwise. We get it that you don’t like the guy, but unable to pilot a superior car? He’s got his issues, but being an overrated driver certainly isn’t one of them.

      1. Hamilton has no excuse to not be able to pass Verstappen with a 2015 engine with his 2016 beast of a Mercedes engine, that ‘s why he can’t pilot a superior car and only because of that he’s complaining otherwise he wouldn’t mention a thing about overtaking. He only won these last 2 seasons because of Mercedes and we all know that Rosberg is average at best.

        1. Dude… seriously. Stop typing. You’re digging yourself in deeper and deeper with these wild accusations. You’re starting to sound rabid.

          That “average” driver drove circles around Schumacher for three seasons, and even if Schumi was a bit off his game those three years, that’s still an impressive accomplishment.

          1. Average driver couldn’t beat Webber.

            Being a rookie is not an excuse.

        2. What about all of his other wins and championship?

    10. It’s a bit rash to judge an F1 car after just one race. It might break down in the 20 remaining races of the year.

    11. “Its come to a point where I can’t tolerate seeing a Mercedes on the road, this is not like the red bull era. Just shut up and drive”

      I keep trying to understand what it is about Lewis Hamilton that brings out the horrid, putrid and absolutely disgusting drivel stemming from a deep-seated hatred that I quite frankly find unfathomable.
      I guess to some people, the sight of him is enough to conjure up such sick feelings, irrespective of what he does or says. And in most cases such people as you @equinox are quick to express those feelings on social media or what have you all in a bid, at least to my understanding, to galvanise support and recruit people who share your warped opinion or view about said person.
      I am yet to see any F1 driver in the history of the sport get such unwarranted filth flung at him as Hamilton does.
      I do not like all the drivers on the grid but instead of raging against them, I wish and pray for them to do well and to have a flourishing F1 career. You should learn to do that.
      I must frankly tell you that hating on Mercedes cars on the road as well is not a good sign.

    12. He complains less than you. Talks more sense, too.

  5. “Its come to a point where I can’t tolerate seeing a Mercedes on the road,” – @Equinox, you have some serious issues. I would suggest therapy….but bear in mind it can be quite expensive. All the best, mate!

  6. “Give us five seconds’ worth of lap time from aero and nothing will change,”

    Has Lewis seen a 2004 onboard recently?

    Although the novelty of cars going at 2004 speeds might eventually wear off, I guess.

    1. 4 or 5 seconds will be in quali only as the fuel limit and tyres in the race means they will probably be running the same race lap speeds as this year, more downforce more drag more fuel use and fuel is restricted. It will just make cars harder to follow at the same speeds as this year and with so much downforce errors will be nearly non existent. Getting rid of fuel flow limits and fuel limit would be great, they can use 150kg of fuel again but produce 400HP more which is a sign of efficiency.

    2. @davidnotcoulthard did you have to endure the entire 2004 season or have you just watched youtube clips? Sitting through 2004 (and 2002 and 2001 (although 2003 was great) was like being in purgatory, I refer to these years as The Dark Days. Dark Days that I never ever ever want F1 to return to. Yes it was down to a mixture of things, in no particular order: 1)Ferrari domination on tailor-made Bridgestone tyres 2)Grooved tyres 3)Refueling 4)Highly sensitive downforce. I don’t want to see ANY of these come back to F1. Racing is great at the moment. 2004 cars were on rails, unable to get near to each other. The Huge Issue dominating F1 then was how on earth to make it easier for the cars to follow each other. Then the Overtaking Working Group was formed but now I fear their work will be undone. Let us remember 2004 so that future generations will not make the same mistakes. I shall wear a poppy for the cause. We must not forget.

      1. @unicron2002 Youtube clip.

        My point was that something would change. (And honestly if enough of the aero isn’t dependant on the lack of dirty air, things might well work out well).

        1. Going on the past, it would change for the worse, and then we’d really all have something to moan about! Increasing downforce without creating dirty air would be like the ground effect cars of the early 80s. No front wings, glued to the track by the diffuser and skirts. But I didn’t watch F1 back then (born in ’82) so I can’t say if that made overtaking better or worse. Stripping aero is the way forward, Aero Must Go!

        2. Well, if you’ve come up with a novel way to do aerodynamics that some of the brightest minds on the planet haven’t figured out yet, please, let us know.

          I do think F1 would benefit by reducing the number of aero elements on the front wing and rear diffuser, and add some mid-car ground effects, but of course that’s the opposite of what direction F1 is heading in.

    3. If everything is on sale, nothing is.

  7. I’m always glad to hear drivers talking as LH is. It’s a bit of a new one, to me anyway, to be talking about less wake, but that’s fine, that would help too. We’re hearing it over and over again now, including from the drivers, less aero dependence, more mechanical grip, closer racing, faster lapping won’t matter if the racing is still processional.

    The problem is LH et al are speaking out because it shockingly sounds like F1 still doesn’t get it, still won’t get enough away from it’s addiction to aero even with all the issues it has, with more and more F1 insiders speaking out and making their frustrations known.

    I guess we’ll just have to see if the final product for 2017 is better…if the uproar from so many key people can cause the needed change, similar to the immediate uproar over the unneeded and terrible new quali regs have caused.

    The problem is, the likes of JV have been saying this for 20 years. When they introduced grooved tires he called them a joke and was reprimanded for that and had to go to Paris and explain himself to the FIA. At the time he said, paraphrasing, “Give us back the big fat slicks of the 70’s. More mechanical grip and they created so much drag down the straights you had no choice but to run less wing, thus killing two birds with one stone. Smaller wings affect the car less negatively when in dirty air, and the tires provide the grip for closer racing and far less processional running.”

    Twenty years later we still need that and we’re still concerned that even with a massive movement for positive change, said change will not happen. So it seems there’s already been a ‘quiet’ movement by the fans, given F1’s concern over diminishing audience, and I think perhaps if 2017 shows no improvement there should be a loud movement in the form of a boycotting of F1. The only thing that will slap them out of this seemingly permanent fog they’re in is to hit them hard in the pocketbook. The fans are the boss. We can fire BE or anyone else at any time, by simply not buying the product until it is a product worth purchasing. They still have a chance to get it right for 2017, or have they already blown it? Perhaps we won’t know until we see what the new tires will do.

    1. @robbie great comment. It won’t be too late yet. All they need to do is change the front wing proposed width for 2017 and things would be a lot better (well, that and make sure the tyres are up to the task).

      The wider cars and tyres look much better in the upcoming regs. I say they have another month to get this right, so now is the time for the drivers to speak out.

      My mantra on this site has always been ‘wider tyres, less aero’ along with so many others such as yourself. It’s so obvious that you wonder what really is happening on the inner circle. Newey has just about gone now, so maybe it can be achieved. Hope so.

      1. @john-h Yeah I hear you about the front wing, but I haven’t been sweating that so much because I thought I had read last year at some point that it would (or could) have a large neutral section to it in the middle, thus a wider wing but not necessarily a worse wing for close racing. I think of it that if they always had to run Monza-like wings…small and with little rake due to the high speed nature of the track…that would be great.

        I do admire Newey for his genius in the fascinating field of aero, but I just think his kind of genius is not good for close racing specifically. He has no doubt advanced the science, and could still do amazing things under stricter parameters, but his ilk and their science is imho not helpful to close racing when allowed freedom to emphasize it on F1 cars. No question they help cars go around a track faster, in a really fascinating interesting way, but the shine comes off the apple when the cars simply need clean air or they’re ‘junk’.

        Personally I think it is because it is a fascinating ‘pinnacle-like’ science, that F1 cottoned on to to increase speeds, and it got developed and so engrained with so much money spent on it that they can’t seem to stop the train, but I just think we’ve seen enough from good tires to bad, to see that this common denominator is not helping.

  8. These proposals make sense as rocking the boat in stormy weather.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      30th March 2016, 1:21

      You’re right, closer racing is a terrible idea; what we really need is more processions

  9. Well, isn’t this what the fans have been asking as well? Better racing?

    1. Yeah, one bad idea races with another…

  10. Totally against the 2017 changes, the racing has been much better since 2009, I would hate to see the aero design move backwards.

    The easiest way to make the cars quicker would be to make them lighter! lower the minimum weight limit and bring back in race refuelling so they’re not lugging around 100kg of fuel and the lap times will be back to where they were. Lighter cars will be easier on their tyres too.

    1. Making them lighter isn’t practical unless they abandon the hybrid system. They struggle to achieve the minimum weight as it is with drivers losing silly amounts of body mass and skipping things like water bottles to get weight down.

      Refuelling is widely agreed to not improve the racing as the majority of passing is done off track. Plus it had a lot of near miss accidents that could have seen someone seriously hurt.

      1. Christopher Moody
        29th March 2016, 19:01

        Please bring back non hybrid engines! I’d love to see a V6 turbo with no limit on fuel flow/turbo size. If they want to limit the total amount of fuel for the race, that would promote efficiency. But I would allow refueling to make them lighter, faster, and easier on the tires. As far as following, set up a standard floor design with ground effect downforce and make the front and rear wings simpler and smaller. Wider tires would also improve mechanical grip. Wow, I just solved F1 issues in one paragraph. :) I’m sure there are a 1000 other scenarios other fans could come up with to do the same thing. And while I’m dreaming, lets distribute the money evenly with a bonus check to the champions. Then we have 10-12 competitive teams. Man, that was easy, maybe I will solve world peace tomorrow. :)

  11. Hamilton is kinda right. But still a bit wrong. Yes, aero makes it hard to follow the cars in front. That is bad, but that isn’t the fault of aerodynamics. Overtakes still take place. The current tyres mean that you can follow for a lap or two and then you need to drop back to conserve. Improve the tyres and it easier to overtake, but then the fastest car wins all of the time which is bad. All this talk is academic though. There are 100 ideas about how to fix F1. Faster cars, better tyres, tyres that have a cliff, tyres that have no cliff, less aero, more ground effect, bigger engines, louder engines, less technology, more driver control, less help from the engineers and so on.

    Forget all of that. How about we just get a closer field! That will make it exciting for us fans, not just the driver in the best car! None of the above suggestions will provide that. Seriously think about it and none of the above suggestions will provide closer racing and that is what we want!

    My suggestion. Don’t change the regulations for a few more years and everyone will come to a bit of parity and some of the big bucks being spent will be negated. The big teams will still win most of the time, but the smaller teams will close the gap and there will be fights across the entire grid for position. Stop changing the rules F1! All of the best seasons that I can remember were 3 or 4 years after a major rule changes when a bit of parity had evened the teams..

    So next year we aim for 5 seconds faster. Why? The only reason that I can see for this is so that the records tumble, but mostly so that the teams with the most money can pull away again as they have the most resources to adapt to the new rule changes. This year looks like being the best year of racing in a while and it isn’t a coincidence that the rules haven’t changed for a couple of years. Maybe I have my tin hat on, but I can only see rule changes equalling a greater disparity between the teams with money and the ones that don’t have money. Protected interests here rather than better racing? Me thinks so.

    1. I generally disagree with your stance although not about everything you are saying. Imho dirty air affecting cars too negatively is the ultimate enemy. Processions still occurred when they had better tires in the past. It’s all well and good for a trailing car to have better tires and therefore be able to overcome some of the dirty air effect, but the guy in front is also on the same better tires so will simply stay ahead of someone handcuffed in dirty air. But you are right that stability in the rules helps. The technical regs imho just need to entail a greater ratio than they currently have of mechanical grip to aero grip.

      1. I agree with you. Dirty air is a problem, but only as it effect the current tyres. They can’t attack all of the time and that is what we want to see. The tyres seem to me to be more of the problem, bit the dirty aero. Overtaking should be hard, but drivers should be able to attack all of the time and currently they can’t due to the tyres. Like or hate DRS, it does provide opportunities for overtaking. But only when the tyres allow the driver to be close enough.

        My advice is to make tyres that don’t overheat and remove DRS. That way the drivers can attack all of the time. However, all we are doing there is shifting the sands. What we really want is closer racing and only rule stability can provide that. On a side note, rule stability also lowers costs helping the teams down the field to compete. But we can’t have that can we!

        1. Yeah, again I pretty much agree with you but still say that just better tires alone will not do imho. The drivers would still be attacking a guy ahead who is also on better tires to react with. DRS harms the integrity of the sport and has not aided processions. DRS passes occur only because of the massive advantage it gives the trailing driver, and has little to do with his skill.

          To me, better tires PLUS less aero dependency, and rules stability as you suggest, would do wonders.

        2. Exactly. Dirty air never going away.

          Some of the best passes in history are the ones drivers had to work for. Having both good aero and good tires creates these types of battles.

          You need both.

          Also – F1 floors should be open to development. It’s very efficient downforce and very stable in dirty air. Downforce doesn’t need to only come from delicate wings.

        3. I’m eager to see the team that will develop a car creating no dirty air so the others can get past it much easier.

          1. Yes well, in fact dirty air helps the following car, PROVIDED the following car is not depending on wings and laminar flow over the bodywork for downforce induced grip. Want more downforce, less drag, and no disadvantage to the following car ? We had the answer back in 197? but it was so good it was banned, maybe it’s time to bring back the fan-car. I personally am 100% in agreement with LH and would prefer less aero (ban wings?) and bigger better tyres, but , if other race formulas become faster than F1 and this is a problem, then maybe it’s time to go back to the future and adopt the simpler, cheaper, more effective solution that was banned 40+ years ago.

  12. Does anyone know where Hamilton’s comment actually came from? I’d like to read them in the original interview (if it was one) and read what questions he was asked. If it wasn’t an interview, but part of a longer ‘column’ that Hamilton has written, I’d like to read the rest.

  13. There must be some point in the fairly recent past when F1 was delivering close to what the teams and spectators expected and before the rules became too restrictive. When was this do people think? Surely F1 rule makers can recreate these conditions but with cars that are much safer and more fuel effecient? Maybe the mid to late ’90s or even 2010 to 2013? I don’t know the answer but surely there is enough knowledge out there?

  14. In my opinion rules should be:
    Principles F1 should follow: 1. safety 2. close racing 3. world’s fastest cars 4. efficiency 5. optimizing 1-4 points.The most fans want to see close racing among best drivers in the fastest cars. How can we solve it? This is, decision makers and engineers should work for. I think it isn’t impossible.
    Some possibilities we have to consider:
    1. Less differences between cars in lap times. Some teams are better in PU and others in aero but we need less differences in lap times. I think we should introduce +weight/point system in short term (for example +20dkg/point or ~0,5 pound/point) because it is a simple, cheap, fast, effective solution to decrease dominance and we don’t need unification or freeze development. Smaller teams get the same PU as manufacturers. Decrease money/revenue allocation differences. I think it would be ideal if cars are close to each other in lap times but some cars are faster in straight and others are faster in corners.
    2. Less dirty air in corners but fast cars: more mechanical grip, less or same aero
    A, simpler front wing B, (more effective diffuser) C, better tyres D, more powerful and effective PUs (natural development) without token system E, slight changes in technical regulation year by year (differences will naturally decrease) and more freedom in development until regulations allow F, DRS? (open DRS time/race and drivers manage it) G, refuelling? (Cars can be faster and drivers could push harder during races but there would be less safety and more ’overtaking during the pit stops’) H, narrow cars I, less weight
    3.Increase the importance of driver’s skills: A, drivers make decisions on strategy B, less radio data from engineers to drivers during races (maybe only safety reasons) C, minimum weight for drivers (for example 80kg with ballast less or more) but no limit for cars D, push on the limit as long as possible, and save as short as possible -> faster lap times during races

  15. Lewis is absolutely right in what he says. But I think it gets even worse – the cars will be wider next year by 200mm. That’s just going to make passing even more difficult, particularly on narrow tracks like Monaco or Hungary. Wider, faster, heavier and more aero cars is just completely mental. Please, let’s focus on mechanical grip.

  16. 2017 is gonna be so depressing. We will probably end up getting a 3 way title fight between Hamilton, rosberg and vettel this year most likely will come down to the last race of the season and a year later a team probably Mercedes will do a better job than everybody else be a second faster and dominate the year (but hey at least the cars will be 5 seconds faster in qualifying) The cars won’t be able to overtake and instead of the Trulli train we’ll get (insert drivers name here) train. Oh and we will get a year of fans moaning and whining about f1. All they really need to do was get rid of the engine tokens garbage so renault and honda could catch up and better tyres. If anybody wants to blame somebody for cars being unable to follow other cars blame the FIA who for the last 5 years have done all the damage with all their changes they’ve made to the cars noses. You can also blame mark webber for crashing into the back of a Caterham

  17. I agree 110% with ads comment….get rid the worst rule in F1 history (engine tokens) and beg Pirelli to make longer lasting tyres so these guys can use there god given ability…downforce isn’t the answer…so what if we re 5 seconds slower than 04…this is a new era….unfortunately we re in the hybrid era but we gotta deal with it because WE ALL love F1.
    Get rid of the dumbass token rule.

    1. Last desperate throw of the dice. F1 of the 1970s was populated by engineers who had to guess….now nobody guesses, its all computer driven design.

      Even if they decided to delimit the rules completely, extraordinary looking stage of car development would last just 2 years maximum, then when the CFD and computerised wind tunnels would get to work by 2020 every car would look identical. Just like every jet, every commercial aircraft, every cargo ship look exactly the same….they will default to the ultimate solution because that is what the computers tell the engineers to do. Computers keep us safe and help cure us….but they wreck sport, especially one like F1 which relied on engineering brilliance. Sad to say the whole attempt to change things is utterly, utterly fruitless.

  18. These rules will be good the same as currently ones. :D

  19. “Money, rather than the good of the sport, is driving too many decisions. The move towards pay TV is one example; the decision to appoint (largely for financial reasons) a tyre supplier with which many teams and drivers are uncomfortable is another”.
    This was part of the news clip on the BBC ap concerning the demise of f1 I read earlier, which is so sad for me to agree with having followed the sport since Nigel Mansel got into a Lotus in 1980.
    I understand that there has to be profit in f1, but when that becomes the main focus we lose vision to what was and by a whisker still is a fantastic sport.
    When it comes to safety I’m right beside you but when it comes to development let British engineering be where it should be, ahead of the world. Let’s lift most of these restrictions and penalties for they are spoiling and hindering a sport I love.
    If the F1 directors want this sport to exist for another 60+ years (well past there lifetime) then they should listen to the fans, teams and driver’s. Catch there vision and then own that vision, for that’s the way you’ll keep the fans which will then because of numbers bring in more sponsorship which can only be good for the sport.

  20. F1, I am so sad to say, is dead… has cars that look like cars have looked for the past 30 years (yawn), it hates its fans and reeks of the 20th Century. It is out of date, dull, arrogant and ……. WOW! Did anyone see the new ‘Roborace’ car, it looks like the 21st Century just arrived?

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