Lewis Hamilton says he found it “amusing” Red Bull urged the FIA to stop teams using ‘quali modes’ on their engines.
Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has been quoted saying the team lobbied for the new restriction to be introduced.
“I find it kind of amusing,” said Hamilton. “because the FIA said that it was so they could manage everyone’s usage of the engine, or something like that, and then Red Bull came and said ‘we were the ones pushing for it’. So there’s completely different reasons why they did it.”
Mercedes’s engine is believed by some to have the most powerful ‘quali mode’. Hamilton said the fact they are being outlawed is “a compliment, at the end of the day.”
“Hopefully the guys back in the factory are looking at is as a compliment that they’ve done just a fantastic job with the engine. We will continue to work and improve with the situation that we’re given. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”
The ban on switching between modes will mean drivers have less to do at the wheel, Hamilton said.
“I like, personally, being able to control when you use some of the life of the engine and when you save it. That’s kind of been a strength of mine in terms of saving engine mileage through the year, making the engine last longer.
“If they take that away it means we have to worry less about switching over to anything else.”
He suspects Mercedes will have “better race pace” as a result of the rules change, though they will “naturally we’ll lose a little bit” of performance in qualifying.
“Everyone’s potentially going to lose something but maybe some more than others. No one particularly knows, I think. But I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for us.”
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