Lewis Hamilton says rule changes make F1 'more exciting'

Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton has rejected criticisms that rules changes this year have led to too much overtaking in Formula 1.

There have been claims F1 has become artificial with the introduction of the DRS overtaking device, faster-wearing tyres and Kers power-boost system.

Hamilton said: "I enjoy racing with Kers hybrid and DRS - it makes it more entertaining for the drivers and fans.

"Anything that makes the racing more exciting should be applauded and we've definitely had more interesting races."

Hamilton used his Kers button to help him win the Chinese Grand Prix last month, when he became the only man in four races so far this season to beat Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

That victory also relied on clever use of tyres, with Hamilton able to catch and pass Vettel because he opted to make one more pit stop and therefore had fresher tyres at the end of the race.

Hamilton's views echo those of his arch-rival Fernando Alonso, who said he "liked" the new F1.

Alonso also rejected claims that overtaking had become too easy as a result of the DRS or drag-reduction system.

This device gives the driver a straight-line speed boost on a specificed straight if he is within a second of the car he is trying to pass at a given point on the track.

The car in front is not allowed to use DRS.

Of more pressing concern to Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button is the pace of their car after a disappointing performance at Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished fourth and Button sixth as Red Bull's Vettel and Mark Webber sealed a one-two ahead of Alonso. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was fifth, having qualified third, ahead of both McLarens and Alonso.

Jenson Button

But Button said he was confident his team could recover.

The 2009 world champion said: "We'd planned to introduce a couple of useful upgrades but weren't able to get them on the car.

"We feel pretty confident we'll get pace and reliability from some of our planned upgrades so I'm optimistic they'll be on the car for Barcelona."

The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya is the next event on the calendar, on 22 May, and Red Bull's rivals are aware they need to halt Red Bull's charge.

Vettel's domination - he has three wins and a second place - has left him with a 34-point championship lead - with 25 points for a win.

Alonso said on Wednesday he was confident he would be able to fight for the title.

And Button said on his website on Thursday that McLaren would not let up in their quest to beat Red Bull.

"The championship battle is basically a development race," he said, "and we stumbled a little bit in Turkey because the progress that we'd anticipated making wasn't quite there.

"But I know how this team reacts - they won't have liked having fallen off the bubble in Turkey.

"We're always developing new solutions, too, and I know that the designers are pushing hard on all fronts to make sure we're in a position to win more races."

Hamilton, who was talking in an interview on his website, said it was "disappointing" that reliability problems had meant McLaren were not able to use their new parts.

Hamilton said he was not surprised to see Ferrari and Mercedes do well in Turkey.

"Sunday showed how close it is among the top teams," the 2008 world champion said. "We saw how strong Mercedes GP and Ferrari can be when they have a clear run at a weekend.

"At the start of the season, we certainly expected Ferrari and Mercedes to be competitive - and, even when they couldn't quite deliver on their winter testing performance in the first three races, we knew it was only a matter of time before they got back into their stride.

"So seeing their pace at Turkey wasn't a surprise - it was actually more of a surprise that they hadn't shown it since the start of the season."

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