Lewis Hamilton has criticised plans for higher-downforce cars in 2017 as “the worst idea” because he believes it will make overtaking more difficult.
The Formula One Strategy Group announced in May it intends to make cars five seconds per lap faster. Wider tyres and increased downforce levels are among the changes planned to achieve this.
However Hamilton told Sky that while he believes change is needed, increase downforce levels will make it harder for drivers to overtake.
“Ultimately something does need to change because Formula One, it has been the same for a long time,” he said. “But I know they’re talking about giving us more aerodynamics which for me is like the worst idea. And it just shows for me that they don’t really know what they’re trying to solve.”
“From a driver’s point of view we want more grip from our tyres. We want less wake coming from the car in front so therefore we can get closer. Because when you’re racing a guy whoever’s in front has one hundred percent potential of the aerodynamics. And the guy behind, the closer he gets, his potential deteriorates so then the advantage he did have when he was catching you initially disappears as he gets closer which shouldn’t be the case. You should be able to – in go-karting the closer you get, you pass, and you pull away. Or you battle.”
“So we need better tyres, we need better grip from our tyres, we need more mechanical grip. And ultimately we probably need less – maybe not less aerodynamics, but less wake so the car behind doesn’t have that turbulence. If that’s possible – I don’t even know if it’s possible.”
Hamilton attended the final race of the NASCAR season in Miami last week and said its fan engagement was something F1 could learn from.
“There were definitely some things that for sure they do a lot better than us,” he said during Thursday’s FIA press conference. “There were for sure things that we could learn from them.”
“It was a great show, a great spectacle, particularly for the fans. A bit like DTM, the fans get very, very close to the garages in the background and to the drivers. It was a really cool event. I hope I get to do one one day.”
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