Hamilton: F1 teams should stop working on next year’s car early

Lewis Hamilton has called for a time limit when Formula 1 teams can start developing their next car amid Red Bull’s dominant start to the season.

Red Bull have won all eight races of the 2023 F1 season so far, emulating the kind of dominance Mercedes has enjoyed at Hamilton during some of the eight consecutive years in which its makers have won the title.

Logically, Red Bull’s stronghold in the season would allow it to shift its focus more to next year’s car than if it were in the middle of a title fight – something Aston Martin had previously suggested would be the best hope for victory other than Red Bull. later this year.

Hamilton – part of the Mercedes team that has won just one major race since the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations at the start of 2022 – has now introduced restrictions on when teams can start developing their next car.

He initially suggested an August date as an example for the Sky Sports F1 team at the Red Bull Ring.

That suggestion, along with the conclusion that dominant teams enjoyed a start to development next year, has been put to Verstappen.

Verstappen simply replied: “Life is unfair too… it’s just not in Formula 1”.

“A lot of things in life are unfair so we just have to deal with it.”

He also told Sky: “We weren’t talking about that when he was winning trophies, were we? So I don’t think we should be doing it now.

“It is of course normal for the people behind us to say these kinds of things, but they should also not forget when they were winning what it looked like.”

Hamilton was then told of Verstappen’s response later that day.

He insisted, “Yeah, but it wasn’t — the order isn’t aimed at anyone in particular or anything.” “It’s clear that in the 17 years I’ve been here… even before I got here, you’ll see periods of dominance.

“It still happens. I think as a sport we do it at some point – I was really lucky to have had one of those periods that Max is going through now but with the way things are going it will continue to happen over and over again.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1

“And I don’t think we need that in sport. Just from my personal experience, when you’re so far ahead, you’re 100 points ahead, and you don’t really need to do more development on your car, so you can start earlier on your next car.

“With a budget cap, it means spending that year’s car money on next year’s car, but if everyone had a set time, everyone knew that could start—whatever date, October, it might be too late, but August is 1.” (For example), something like that, that no one has a head start and it’s real racing in that short period of time for the future car.

“I don’t know, maybe it helps everyone be more level and closer next year.”

Hamilton acknowledged that his Mercedes team had previously had the advantage of developing a dominant car, and even cited Brawn GP’s decision – when it was Honda – to start development of its 2009 car as early as 2008 as evidence of the kind of advantage it has. can get.

Strong F1 GP

“I could be wrong but something has to change because if you keep going – when we were winning world championships we could start earlier than everyone else.

“Then there are teams that weren’t competitive so they didn’t even bother working on that current car… I looked at Brawn, they just focused on next year’s car from the start and then they show up next year and they shoot everyone.

“And that shouldn’t be possible, in my opinion. It’s not for me to judge, but it would be great to see in the next 20 years that if we don’t have huge timescales where one team can be so far ahead.

“We want to see better racing.”

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