Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

F1 needs to “adapt” rules before 2026 to close gap between teams – Hamilton

2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he understands why some fans are disappointed by the state of competition in Formula 1 this year and said the series may have to rethink its rules earlier than planned.

F1 is in its second season since revised technical regulations were introduced with the goal of improving the quality of racing and bringing the field closer together. However Red Bull are routing the competition at the moment, winning every race so far this year and 14 of the last 15 grands prix.

Asked whether he was concerned Red Bull’s dominance would prove a turn-off for the American market Formula 1 is eager to court with its first of three US rounds this weekend, Hamilton said: “It’s not my job to convince people to watch a sport.

“I mean, I’m not watching it. It’s not boring for me. I’m challenged every single day trying to get back to the front. So it’s definitely not boring from my perspective.

“But, as a racing fan watching, I can understand because it’s not as much competition as they’re perhaps used to with the NFL and the NBA at the moment. That’s not my doing.”

F1 “needs to do better, I think, as a sport” said Hamilton. “They have already tried to bring the teams closer but it never seems to work. So all I can say is that we’re working as hard as we can to close up and get back to give them some more excitement.”

Hamilton believes F1 did the right thing by overhauling its car design last year, but believes further changes are needed before its next planned overhaul of the rule book in 2026.

“I think it’s good that we’re trying new things. I think it’s important that we continue to move forward and evolve. The technology has evolved.

“It is just unfortunate we still see the same sort of gaps between teams. I don’t know what the solution is for the future, but I think we’re going to have to continue to adapt these regulations moving forwards otherwise it could be the same as it is now for years, until 2026. If we don’t do a better job, which we’re working on doing.”

However Hamilton said he is enjoying the current generation of cars now that Mercedes has addressed the ‘porpoising’ problem they suffered with throughout last season.

“I like the cars without the bouncing. They’re a little bit heavy, I wouldn’t say making the cars heavy is a good idea. That’s about it.”

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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46 comments on “F1 needs to “adapt” rules before 2026 to close gap between teams – Hamilton”

  1. Not sure whether he should be the one advocating this, but when asked what else should he say? Maybe that it’s just the second year and we are all catching up, so it will be fine. We’ve seen it before at the start of a new regulatory period?

    1. Yep, the last one to be entitled to suggest this.

      1. I agree but I don’t think it’s an over the line comment, he said he doesn’t find it boring cause they’re trying to catch up, it’s the fans who find it boring and as a solution he said the fia could do more to bring teams closer.

        1. Fred Fedurch
          5th May 2023, 11:19

          Why wasn’t he speaking out 5 years ago? 6? 7?

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            5th May 2023, 11:33

            I may be wrong, but I have vague recollections that he did.

            Something along the lines of the dominance of Mercedes was not good for the sport and that others (Ferrrari, RedBull etc) needed to join the party.

            I’ll have to see if I can find some quotes.

            As I said I may be wrong.

          2. I quite clearly remember him saying he was working with his team mate to generate some excitement and he hoped Red Bull/Renault and Ferrari would sort their engines in time to challenge them.

            Lewis & Nico were just doing their jobs then, as Max & Sergio are now – driving the best car to the front of the grid.

          3. Also, the FIA did take steps to limit Mercedes’s advantage.

            They stop the quali mode, they stopped the engine boost mid-race. They also stop that Mercedes brain wave, where they could adjust the angle of the front wheels. These changes were all directed at Mercedes to allow the other teams to catchup. The same for wind tunnel testing time.

            As for Redbull, i wonder what else is going on. We discovered by accident that Redbull and Ferrari were operating ‘flexi-floors’ when everyone else was interpreting the rules to mean ‘fixed floors’. I wonder what else is going on under the Redbull, that the FIA knows of, but is allowing to slide?

  2. Changing the regulations all the time is what creates gaps between teams. Having stable regulations will allow the performance of all the teams to converge.

    1. Agreed, teams were catching red bull at the end of last season, Toto pushed for rule changes and made the gap bigger again.

  3. Then why not spec cars? We had one concept for a long time, Mercedes was dominating. Now we have a different concept, it is not. Do a better job and maybe you will again. But I don’t see anything wrong in driving the second or third best car, others had to do it and will have to do it too, and many can only dream of that. This is how drivers prove themselves. Verstappen had a few wins even before Red Bull became competitive. I’m sure Hamilton can do better too, at least on some tracks.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      5th May 2023, 11:19

      Be careful. Spec is a dirty four letter word in this forum.

      1. Too right, spec-racing would annihilate F1 and its popularity. It’d destroy the industry as well putting a lot of engineers out of work, which is fine if you’re into that sort of thing, but most of us aren’t :)

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          6th May 2023, 13:41

          Some might argue the amount of money spent in F1 is ridiculous and might be better spent elsewhere. As well as the amazing engineering talent that might be better deployed to more practical purposes.

          I hope the cost cap (which is a nightmare solution) and a some rule stability improves the quality of the racing at some point. I fear it won’t.

          There many spec or prescribed parts in F1 currently and thats a GOOD thing. It saves money and closes competition. Perhaps we need a litle more? Of course done in the right way. Whats wrong with that?

          Doesn’t even a small part of you want to see all the F1 drivers in equal F1 performance cars for a while to see who is the best driver? That would be a spectacle.

          1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk spec racing is how we got A1GP, and look how long that series lasted.
            I did actually attend a race whilst it existed, and can confirm that even at Brands Hatch, it was just dull.
            Whereas I’ve been to both Silverstone (in 2001) and Spa (in 2017), and it’s just more exciting.
            Especially Spa

          2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            7th May 2023, 22:28

            @nvherman I am not suggesting for a second F1 becomes a spec series, but there is plenty of room for improvement in the quality of the racing and a solution is required. So long as the cars are spectacular to watch and the best teams and drivers are competing, F1 will always be better than series like A1GP.
            It is a falacy often pedalled on this forum that spec is always bad. Spec and prescribed parts are part of the solution in the obvious need to improve competetion across the Grid in F1.

  4. Rikard Stensson
    5th May 2023, 1:06

    He didn’t mind the Mercedes cars between 2014 and 2021.

    1. Indeed a bit rich coming from the man & the cars that dominated F1 for all of those years.

    2. Might actually want to read the whole article and not just the headline…

  5. He might have some credibility if he’d said F1 should change the rules to close the gap between teams when Mercedes was winning 7 championships in a row.

    But he’s only saying than now that he’s losing.

    1. He did say that. Multiple times.

      1. He said he wanted the other teams to catch up.
        He never said that the FIA needed to change the rules to allow the other teams to catch up.
        In fact, he complained about the ride height rule change in 2021, that allowed Red Bull to catch up. So…

  6. I really think rule changes are not needed, but rather teams need to get better at designs. If RBR can (and Mercedes in the previous iteration) then why can’t others?

    Couple that with the budget cap and things will ultimately converge a bit more.

    Until then, good luck to RBR, they got it right, others not so much.

    1. I don’t know the reason, just that they’re more organized: think about it, ferrari, mclaren and williams used to be top teams in the 2000s; williams has since been declining and mclaren hasn’t been a top team since 2012, but a bit more decent, however ferrari most of the time has been competitive, back in the 2000s red bull and merc weren’t here yet, ferrari has proven 1 thing: these 2 teams that recently (in f1 terms) came back\started seem to have raised the bar of the top teams and it looks like no one has what it takes to beat them both.

  7. F1 isn’t just a car race, it is also a technology race. Mercedes was the team with the best cars, but then they made some questionable design choices so now they don’t have the best cars on the grid.
    Maybe the Sprint Races could be done with some sort of spec car. I don’t know what sort of spec car they should use or how they are supposed to fit 4 cars into a garage designed for two.

    1. @drycrust Have been saying the same, sprint can be equal cars and one way that can be done is use the F2 cars or just increase the budget cap and have Dalara make these extra chassis. Dont they move the F1 cars out for F2 races ?

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      5th May 2023, 11:28

      100% Agree. Do the sprint races in a spec car.

      They could be saloons/sedans, F2 cars, Dirt cars, GT or anything really. Ideally something from a local series for a bit of flavour.

      I always moan the World Drivers Championship is a bit mute considering in F1 its about 98% the car 2% the driver.

      I’d love to see Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso in equal machinery up against the fresh talent just arriving F1. Mouth-watering.

  8. Well when Mercedes were winning because of their engine advantage, that next to nothing was done about, I do not recall Hamilton ever complaining. Funny that. Is Lewis upset he is losing? Badly? Complete hypocrisy. This suggests to me that Mercedes are lost. Completely lost and have no idea how to quickly catch up to Redbull. They know it is going to take them a very long long time. Maybe after 9 years Lewis something can be done about it? Is he scared that Verstappen may stay around for a while and just completely wipe his championship record? Poor Lewis. It’s not like Redbull have a ridiculous engine advantage that other teams are going to have to spend years trying to match. It’s a shame Mercedes did not get a few years heads up to work on this set of regulations. Maybe they would have had a chance. What’s stopping Mercedes? Incompetence? They are just a B grade team after they lost their engine advantage? They deserve it. Aston are beating them? What does that tell you? Mistakes. Low grade engineering. Just embarrassing. How is it that George is pretty much matching Lewis? Stark contrast to the years of hindered team mates. Is he a worse driver now? Surely he is better now. No?

    1. Well when Mercedes were winning because of their engine advantage,

      Another loop on the bull-wagon?
      This would be the “advantage” where Ferrari had the more powerful engine?
      and still didn’t win.
      Yes, we all know that Ferrari were cheating (lift the carpet and sweep that under), but nevertheless the engine wasn’t the winning point or Ferrari would have won.
      If Lauda were still alive, he would point out that it isn’t any one element, it’s the whole package.
      Bear in mind that AM (previously Racing Point) use Mercedes engines. The “Pink Mercedes” was significantly faster than the previous car, despite having the same engine. That advantage did not come from an engine.

      Current regulations skew the advantage to any team with a design staff with prior knowledge of ground effect.
      Maybe that was intended, maybe not.

    2. George.be
      5th May 2023, 8:19

      It was even worse: Hypocrites, the lot of them, at Mercedes. There was an engine freeze / token system that did not get lifted because Mercedes didn’t show their real advantage in ’14 to ’16. Even if the competition wanted and had the funds, they could not close that gap. In 2017 the token system was scrapped, but the competitors were at least as far behind as they’re now behind RB. Even with a bit of rule-bending Ferrari could just about get on a similar level (While needing to drive with a downforce deficit and a lot closer to the edge of the car capabilities)
      When the competition got closer, MB got an extra gift: They were allowed to use their DAS system for a whole year. I’m sure were it Ferrari that had the advantage, it would be banned overnight and regulations would be ‘tightened / clarified’.
      Now in this cost cap system and with limited development path for the team in front, the chasers are helped along. I would argue that Aston is proving more than a point.
      Mercedes wanted rules changed, and the FIA changed the floor regulations, twice, taking a return-of-increased-outwash for their efforts. The close Ferrari-RB fights between Max and Charles now aren’t possible anymore, it seems, because the cars feel the effect of dirty air again. But the Mercs are still behind, so further rule changes are needed? They want a heads up a few weeks before they come in effect, I guess? Then they can say they produced the parts overnight, I guess.

    3. Russell is simply a better driver than bottas, perhaps even than rosberg, in addition hamilton is getting old, he’s likely no longer quite as fast as he was at his peak.

    4. Comment of the Day, Stash!

  9. He makes valid points, although I’d added NHL (possibly also MLB) in the mix, albeit somewhat apples to oranges, as unlike motorsports, other sports types are unreliant on machinery & technical stuff for success.

  10. The hypocrisy

  11. Fred Fedurch
    5th May 2023, 11:19

    Why wasn’t he speaking out 5 years ago? 6? 7?

    1. He was. He’s been consistent in saying he wants closer racing throughout his career.

  12. Reporter: What do you think about the color blue.?

    Hamilton: I like it!

    Comment on radom site:

    1.How dare he! He should be grateful for being able to se blue.

    2. Well he wasn’t complaining when… 500 words later and on…. “now that he longer has that.

    Jesus christ! This reminds me of when the Yankees got their first supposedly “black” president the Conservative/right-wing/opposing side where so against everything coming from that particular president that whatever he said! The opposition would vote the opposit.

    I mean 2 people wrote 500 page essays on a answer that really didn’t warrant the response unless you’re getting paid for it.
    Is anybody getting paid? @George.be @steveP? Otherwise go do something useful! Like proper walk! It will calm wright down.

    1. He wasnt asked about the colour blue. He was asked about something that has bearing on the championship, and his response is arguably hypocritical.

      So the responses on here, an F1 forum, discussing things pertinent to F1, are opinions that may be opined on the topic at hand.

      So why not debunk the opinion rather than attacking the opiner?

      As for being paid…well that could apply to those who disagree as well, among which Id gather you include yourself.

      1. The point the poster is making, is we only have what’s reported to judge Hamilton by.

        We won’t see what’s omitted by the reporter. That reporter might have done his homework and also included what Hamilton had to say on the same subject, in previous years, when Mercedes held the advantage. This reporter asked the question hoping for a response that would reflect poorly on Hamilton. Cue those race fanatics who aren’t bothered by the circumstances of what they read, and then react to.

  13. Sergey Martyn
    5th May 2023, 17:47

    Losers are the first asking for rules adaptations…

  14. @Mog gathers to little and to much. Per default my opinion was given, Mog choose own interpetation! Fritz suggestions read Fritz comments again!

    SLH says
    1. Good that the FIA changed the regs.
    2. He enjoys the racing.
    3. Doesn’t like porpoising cars
    4. Feels that FIA could do better with rules to bunch up teams. (Unclear for teams or for fans or both?)
    5. SLH and Mercedes are doing there utmoust to create competition.

    Mercedes was king of the old regs. Das was taken away, trick suspension was taken away, the whole car was taken away.
    And SLH says 1. And 2.

    Mogs conclusion is Fritz ATTACKS!!!

    BTW anybody got hurt? Because that would be weird since it’s a OPINION. An opinion about the responses to the interview only make sense viewed through a lense of… Blue.

    Also @Mog I want raise!

    1. Ah, an argument. With some logic. Congrats. Also, did u see how thats possible without attacking posters specifically?

      Also please observe how now you too have now written two wordy posts…because you are passionate about your own lens, which shall we call ‘red’?

    2. Oh dear, did I hurt your eyes? You’re allowed to TLDR, you know. The article itself wasn’t too long?
      If I see a comment, even if it is coming from a Sir, a bit hypcritical and/or dishonnest, I want to be able to say this, and the logic of why I come to that conclusion. You’ve got the right to react to that, and point me to the mistakes I made. Just don’t nag over the lenght of said logic.
      On your SLH quotes:
      1: Of course Lewis has to say he’s happy that the rules have changed. He would’ve been seen as a sore loser otehrwise. Any F1 driver prefers to win though. So I guess he would’ve liked the new regs more if he wins again :)
      2: He enjoys the racing but is complaining about the tools he’s handed, and therefore wants new tools for everyone
      ‘t must be hard to Hammer if you only have screws to fix :-)
      3: No driver likes porpoising. He should’ve complained to Mercedes instead of to the FIA.
      4: Bunching up teams isn’t what the rules are meant for: They’re needed to get honest racing. To race you better be able to follow and overtake.
      The bunching up? I’m fairly sure the gap between the top 10 in qualifying in 2022 upto last week was way smaller than in 2014 to 2020. I’m too lazy to search and average the numbers.
      5: They say they do, but their actions point in another direction. But hey, I support the freedom of church :)

  15. @Mog gathers to little and to much. Per default my opinion was given, Mog choose own interpetation! Fritz suggestions read Fritz comments again!

    SLH says
    1. Good that the FIA changed the regs.
    2. He enjoys the racing.
    3. Doesn’t like porpoising cars
    4. Feels that FIA could do better with rules to bunch up teams. (Unclear for teams or for fans or both?)
    5. SLH and Mercedes are doing there utmoust to create competition.

    Mercedes was king of the old regs. Das was taken away, trick suspension was taken away, the whole car was taken away.
    And SLH says 1. And 2.

    Mogs conclusion is Fritz ATTACKS!!! The ost popular conclusion is” Oh my god” Ham is such a hypocrite!” ( Read it like you are 18 year old LA girl pretending she’s so jaded)

    BTW anybody got hurt? Because that would be weird since it’s a OPINION. An opinion about the responses to the interview only make sense viewed through a lense of… Blue.

    Also @Mog I want raise!

  16. Both GR and SLH have been promoting the idea and need to close-up the field. This is nuts.
    Last time I checked, the field was looking amazingly closed up. The mid-field is hyper competitive and even Williams has been a regular participant in Q2 and 3. This is fantastic. How much more bunching up do they want.?
    The only reason to whine is that one (and only one) team has jumped ahead. Will it last, not likely.
    If Red Bull had not nailed the design and development for the 2022 and 2023 rules, and were back in the pack, then Ferrari and Mercedes would be class of the field and even Alonso would have heroically won a race, possibly two.
    If you look at the intangibles’ that Red Bull has mastered over the last 3 years,
    – Team management, stable and efficient
    – Technical design capability, equally stable, competitive very clever people, and great leadership
    – Race day efficiency, what is there to say, strategy has been near flawless and pit-stops, amongst the fastest.
    – Drivers, yes they have had a few but they have generally developed in-house and minimized the drama
    Credit should be due to the current winning team. It won’t last forever, but changing the rules to suit those that have not mastered the design build and operate optimization of the current version, is poor form.

  17. I have been watching it for 4 decades now. It is no way as boring as it was in some specific years in the past. I would risk saying it is similar to the Bottas/Lewis and Schumacher/Barrichello years, to say only two ages. The difference now is this aim of making it an american event with its artificial emotions and lots of fake overturns. I wonder what these spectators would say about the 1988 season… they would crucify Steve Nichols, Gordon Murray and the Honda team for destroying F1.

  18. Zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

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