Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 rule changes will have little effect

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton is chasing his third consecutive world title in 2016

World champion Lewis Hamilton says planned changes to qualifying for this season will not have much effect.

A new elimination-based system will be introduced for the 2016 season, which starts next month, if teams given it the go-ahead in the next few days.

Brit Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes, hopes the changes will help spice up the sport but said: "I don't really feel like it is going to change much."

Williams driver Felipe Massa added that the plan could cause "chaos".

The idea is to retain the current system of three parts of qualifying, but eliminate one driver at a time through each of the sessions.

This would result in a 90-second shoot-out for pole position between two drivers.

"I don't know if it I like it or not," added Massa. "I need to have a little bit of time to sit down and understand the rules, understand the change.

"The only thing I understand is that they want to create some chaos - and this will happen for sure."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo agreed with Hamilton.

"I don't know how much it's going to change," he said.

"It might put a little bit more pressure on us to execute the lap early in the session because after five minutes or something they're going to start ticking them off."

Concern about rule changes

F1's governing body the FIA has also agreed the fundamentals of changes to make the cars faster and more dramatic-looking in 2017.

These will result in wider cars, with wider bodywork and wider tyres, and more downforce created from the underfloor.

The teams had been trying to lower the weight of the cars, to help with the plan to make them faster, but they have ended up being 20kg heavier.

Hamilton described the situation as "ridiculous".

He said he had been wondering why his car had been sliding around on the track and only realised late on that it was because the cars weigh more.

"That makes a big, big difference," said the three-time world champion.

"They don't have to change the regulations much to make it go faster, just make the cars lighter. They are just super heavy."

Hamilton did not comment directly on the specific design changes planned but said: "I don't agree with the changes that are made and have been made for many years, so you just live with it."

He also said he felt the drivers should have more input into rule changes.


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