Hamilton wants F1 rule change to stop team domination

Source: Pirelli Media

According to Lewis Hamilton, periods of dominance in Formula 1 need to be addressed. In an article over at Autosport, Hamilton is quoted as saying:

“I was really fortunate to have one of those periods that Max [Verstappen] is having now. But with the way it’s going, it will continue to happen over and over again. And I don’t think that we need that in sport.

“Just in my personal experience, when you’re so far ahead, when you’re 100 points ahead, you don’t really need to do a lot more development on your car, and you can start earlier on your next car.

“And with a budget cap that means spending that year’s money on the next year’s car.

“But if everyone had a time for example, if everyone knew when we can really start, whatever date it is – October is way too late probably, but 1 August, something like that – then no one has a head start, and then it’s a real race in that short space of time for the future car.

“I don’t know, maybe that would help everyone be closer the following year, maybe. I might be wrong. But something’s got to change. When we were winning world championships, we could start earlier than everybody else.”

It’s a bit of an odd statement. It would seem to suggest the notion, “I got mine but you can’t have yours” sort of vibe to it. The comment, “and I don’t think that we need that in the sport”? It served him well with 7 titles and 8 titles for the Mercedes team.

Apart from the notion that it was fine for Marc but not fine now, I’m not sure the idea is on solid footing either as you could never really prevent people from working on next year’s car in theory and design. Sure, maybe wind tunnel would wait until August but initial design can start whenever.

It didn’t take long for the guy currently winning to dismiss the idea out of hand. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said:

“We weren’t talking about this when he was winning and I don’t think we should now,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

“This is just how Formula 1 works. When you have a competitive car, that’s great, but at one point you have to look ahead to the next year, of course.

“It’s normal people behind us say these kinds of things, but they should not forget how it was when they were winning themselves.”

I don’t dismiss Lewis’s point that a good baseline car gives you an advantage with regards to when and how much you have to develop. His Mercedes in 2014 onward was so dominant that there’s little doubt they could easily focus on the next car much earlier than other teams.

However, I would suggest that Mercedes missed the mark on the new cars in 2022 with a dogged determination on zero sidepods and a design that didn’t work. IT wasn’t that they didn’t start earlier on the 2023 car, it’s that they stuck with a design that didn’t work.

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Michael Beson

There is so much bitching, moaning, complaining and general criticism over dominance since RBR starting winning. It seems to be so much more now than when Merc and Ferrari had their lengthy periods of domination. Its getting old and tiring. And coming from one of the drivers that had one of the longest dominant periods – its hugely hypocritical. RBR got it right, the rest didn’t. In Horner’s words – change your f***ing car!!! :) If parity is what they want, then give all 20 drivers the same car design, specs, floors, pods, etc and let them duke it out.… Read more »

Fred

Doesn’t the British Touring Car add weight every time you win, then take it away when you lose. But yea I’d be more impressed with this idea if it came from when he was winning.

Mike

Maybe Lewis needs a participation trophy.

peter

Putting aside the knee-jerk reaction against Lewis’ seeming comments that he’s the pot calling the kettle black… the truth is he makes a point. The series seeks to control the availability of money and the FLOW of money to the teams already. If there is no testing, if there is a cap on funds, if there is a reverse scale for wind-tunnel time, if development is adversely impacted by restrictions already during the season and resultant fines (remember $2mil RBR fine last year), then IF F1 wants to oversee every aspect by control, then they could seek to further control… Read more »

peter riva

I agree. My point was that his comments mimic F1 policy as regards control.