Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2017

F1 should keep changing rules to stop dominance – Hamilton

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton wants F1 to keep making major rules changes in order to prevent a single team from dominating.

The Mercedes driver believes regular changes in the rules will make the sport more unpredictable and entertaining.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2017
Australian Grand Prix build-up in pictures
“I can’t remember the last time we had three years and a rule change,” said Hamilton. “I think they should probably shorten that and do more changes because there can often be a dominance of a certain team and it’s hard to catch up.”

“There’s a limit to how much development you can do throughout a year. The top teams generally can develop similar kind of pace.”

“If you’ve got a gap already at the beginning it’s hard to squish that gap being that there is the rules in terms of how much investment and time can go into developing the car. So doing drastic changes spices it up.”

Hamilton believes the introduction of wider cars and tyres this year has created a greater sense of anticipation for the upcoming championship.

“I’ve never seen fans so excited about a season as they are this season being that they don’t know where the cars and teams are,” he said. “More of these kinds of experiences would be, I think, welcome.”

Hamilton also revealed his wish list for changes to the sport following its takeover by Liberty Media includes a race in Miami and a return to V12 engines – something FIA president Jean Todt has recently ruled out.

Hamilton added he’d like to see “more ladies in the paddock” as well. “There’s too many dudes”.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 30 comments on “F1 should keep changing rules to stop dominance – Hamilton”

    1. I know many will disagree, but I actually agree with Lewis here.

      It never fails to build anticipation. Although one thing I slightly disagree with is just how often there should be change. I think about every 4-5 years would be enough.

      1. I completely agree with what Lewis said. Eras of domination are killing the sport, and to make sure that no team has a sustainable advantage, the FIA should change rules and regulations pretty often so no team’s silver bullet is long enough to last through multiple seasons on end.

        The truly great teams will still be at the top and fighting for championships, but they won’t be able to constantly innovate ahead of every competitor. There will be a mix up from season to season and that’s what will make F1 exciting.

        It might seem farcical now, but I think it will definitely be exciting to see what surprises the next season holds. At the end of last season, people were already ready to hand Lewis the title for 2017.. which was just a depressing thought.

        1. @todfod The SPORT should not be constantly changed just to stop a team from gaining an advantage because that is exactly what this SPORT has always been about.

          This constant meddling with things just because some don’t understand the SPORT & care only for the entertainment/show side of things is what is really killing this once great SPORT.

          If a team dominates in the way Mercedes have done recently & in the way Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Lotus etc… have done in the past then thats fine because that is the nature of the SPORT, Always has been & always will be. If the others can’t catch up to that advantage then so be it because again that is the nature of the SPORT. Changing things so that others can catch up or whatever is not what F1 has been, is or should be about!

          F1 should be a SPORT before its a show because that is what allowed F1 to thrive & grow, It’s the turning into a show with artificial gimmicks & constant rules meddling for said show that has resulted in its decline!

      2. I diasagree with Hamilton , why? Because he didn’t said this in 2014 when aeverybody knew and he knew that the advantage they had was so big that it was going to last for a few seasons. Now that it seems Ferrari is faster than Mercedes then he wants the FIA to keep changing the regulations just in case ferraris advantage keeps getting bigger and with the resources Ferrari has they might even become the dominant team for a few years to come.

    2. I thoroughly disagree. The only thing that would do is keep the richer teams on top without the less overly financed ones a chance to ever catch up. Every time rules stay in place for longer, we see the field coming closer together. When things are changed, the gap opens up.

      So I can see why Hamilton would be happy to have the rules changing often. Mercedes does not seem to hurt for lack of ideas and money to throw at development. But it would not be good for the sport at all

      1. @bascb Absolutely. So obvious.

      2. I totally agree with you, @bascb.

      3. I agree. The current situation with Mercedes domination (at least through to the end of the last season) is the other engine manufacturers were hindered from catching them by the Token system. Now that the Token system has been revoked that allows all the engine manufacturers more freedom in how they construct their engine.

    3. Takeitlightly
      23rd March 2017, 9:00

      You should be thankful for the rules that made your team dominant, if not how would you win the 3 WC on that Mercedes… Oh sorry thats 2 WC on the Merc cause even Rosberg beat you on the same dominant car.

      1. What a snide comment that borders on petulant? Rosberg won ONE championship while driving a dominant car for 3 years, yet your taking a swipe at Lewis? 3 potential championships- ROsberg only converted one and its Lewis who has under-delivered? Unbelievable. Also what do you make of Senna’s dominant Mclaren? And Prost? And Schumi’s dominant Ferraris THAT EVEN HAD THEIR OWN SPECIAL TYRES! Prost lost two championships to Lauda and Senna. Senna lost a championship to Prost. Even the biggest names in the sport have been defeated because guess what, it’s sport! I challenge you to list drivers who have won without a Constructor’s winning car and you will be eating humble pie when you find out who is also on that list.

        1. @Blazz It is quite amazing, Lewis has to be better or perfect than other champions to have his achievements recognised. That he went 2 for 3 in a dominant car is possibly seen or put into the same category as failure. Reaching at best, agenda at worst.

          1. Quite. Hamilton is judged by different yardsticks compared to former champions and indeed other F1 drivers by some quarters of the F1 world. I wonder why that is? (rhetorical question).

            1. (rhetorical answer) It is some Hamilton fans, not Hamilton the man, that people have heard enough from. One would think he could walk on water listening to some of his fans.

            2. @dbHenry. Do you speak on behalf of anti-Lewis brigade? “One would think he could walk on water listening to some of his fans.” Nonsense. There are examples of overzealous fans for every driver on the grid. But there is some pretty ridiculous rhetoric about Hamilton, from example, people like you who want to apportion reliability blame to a driver without evidence.

              But, let’s see if we can get some consistency.

              Do you blame Vettel for his reliability woes in 2014?

            3. I call it as I see it, I am part of no brigades Blazz.

          2. Vettel went 4 for 4

            1. with a diabolical team mate.

            2. Actually let me be fair to Mark Webber. He wasn’t diabolical but he wasn’t a top tier driver neither. Certainly in 2010 he showed Sebastian the way for much of the season until he threw it all away at the last race. Post Bridgestone and during the blown diffuser era Sebastian mastered that technology better and so had no competition from within the team. So yes Vettel went 4/4 but he didn’t have a team mate who pushed him all the way like he did in 2010.

      2. yuk

    4. Yes. Football, Rugby, Athletic, Snooker, wetc should change the rules to stop a good team/person winning. What a great idea. Why not just throw dice? It would be just as sporting. And the powers in charge wonder why F1 is a disaster and becoming a joke. They need to look up ‘sport’ in the dictionary and go from there. Hamilton is only spouting such rubbish because he is winning. If he gets beaten for a few races, he’ll change his tune.

      1. I don’t often comment, but in answer to your question
        Tennis changed the size of the balls, to stop big servers from dominating
        Football implanted budget caps to limit the richest teams winning
        Snooker, you now have the speed snooker
        And Ruby are trialling new rules this year which will shake the game up a bit.

        So I think Lewis’s argument is valid.

      2. @jamie

        And Yes to add to your point, the rule is to stick to the basics and add/remove the stuff that makes the sport extra interesting (or attract new fans). The FIA needs to add/change stuff above this, almost like adding layers above these basics.

        The true fans are in for the basics of the sport. Layering stuff above this may irritate us but does not hinder our love for the sport.

        Also F1 needs a balance of complex changes and simple changes that keeps the nerdy and simple fans retain their interest in the sport. We as fans want to know what the regulation changes are and how the teams react to it.

        Also each team has their own strengths, if a rule change is particularly favorable to one team then that team will have an upper hand for the next season already, because teams like Mercedes or Ferrari might have already worked on those technologies years ago and will have a ton of data to start with.

        So in conclusion a sport without evolution will surely be doomed.

    5. This is not as easy. The big teams with the most money will always have an edge. The only thing you will do is increase spending and putting pressure on smaller teams. They have a tight budget and i suspect that big rule changes requires a big investment, followed by a couple of years of evolution of that car. They could do artificial things, like let give teams who finish lower get more in season development.

      1. Mark in Florida
        23rd March 2017, 16:06

        I agree with what you say. Big team’s will always have the cash to adapt to new regs. Small teams struggle because of infrastructure changes needed to adapt to the new specification. It’s like farming if you have the equipment to plant and grow corn after a few years you can make good money on it. If the government says stop !start growing peas now. Your equipment changes your fertilizer is different. Some things may carry over but a lot of it doesn’t. That’s why rule instability is hard on the little guys. Even if F1 declared that every car had to run the Mercedes engine do you really believe that we wouldn’t see the same team’s running at the top? If team’s can’t spend money on the motors they will spend it on the aerodynamics. There will always be a gap between the top and bottom. The size of the gap depends on stability.

    6. I don’t really agree with his point. In my view, if they keep the same regulations for a long time, the teams’ performance will eventually converge, costs will be kept down (because you don’t have a constant overhaul of the regs) and there will be more teams fighting at the front, middle and back (and the field would probably be closer than ever)!

      I think if you keep constantly changing the rules, you’ll have a dominant team one year, another one in the years after, etc, and that to me is still dominance and therefore not much fighting and that’s is not what the sport needs..!

    7. Definitely the larger teams benefit from drastic regulation changes. But if it means that it would allow the top teams to all bunch up, then I agree with Hamilton.

    8. Estaban de los Casas
      23rd March 2017, 12:54

      The 2017 rules changes have most definitely created a great amount of interest again in Formula One.
      The sports history is ripe with frequent change and the significance of these changes have created new legions of fans who closely follow F1 as much as possible. Forty years ago in America we only saw the Monaco on TV. Then monthly publications about motorsport were followed by weekly ones and eventually race by race coverage via TV or specialized mags gave us our info about Grand Prix Racing. During these years the sport evolved and as one team found success the others tried to copy them, some even became better than the cars they copied. But somewhere along the line mostly in recent years the race cars changed to meet the demands brought to them by manufacturers. The move to bring regenerative power from the simple rotation of engine or brake components somehow lessened the sport in my opinion because the complexity these “engines” and the recovered power turned Grand Prix Cars into something different and became complicated machines to such an extent fans began to lose interest. Added to this is the costs to create this generation and fans found F1 almost finacially out of reach. Its pretty expensive for the average family to see F1 in person. Now there is great pressure from fans to return to having cars that challenge drivers and teams like they did in former eras. I like what l am seeing and feel ike we are going to see F1 return to more of what it once was. Drivers and teams competing nation against nation in the highest levels if technology while in pursuit of becoming world champions. The future looks bright.

    9. Well the result is certainly welcome, but constantly changing rules is a terribly ineffective and expensive way of going about it. Limit budgets/resources in some way that brings more parity, then open up design rules…

    10. Yes, 2019 we should have another rule change, 2020 engine change.

      Engine change can happen sooner, if they decide to increase the hybrid output from 160 to say 400hp.

      At the end of the engine cycle we should see around 1200hp bombs out of corners ..

    Comments are closed.