Hamilton says F1 2021 overhaul "nowhere near where it needs to be"

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1's 2021 overhaul is "nowhere near where it needs to be" and requires "serious changes", after attending a crunch meeting that delayed finalising the rules

Hamilton says F1 2021 overhaul "nowhere near where it needs to be"

Discussions over the major rules change first started in April 2018 but teams retain a number of concerns over the latest proposals and the summit in Paris two weeks ago shuffled the deadline to finalise the rules back to October, to buy stakeholders more time.

Hamilton, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Grand Prix Drivers Association head Alex Wurz provided driver representation at the meeting.

Asked by Autosport what he expected to gain from attending the meeting, and if it left him encouraged, Hamilton gave a detailed answer about what drivers are trying to achieve, what the rulemaking process needs to achieve, and where he believed things can be improved.

He acknowledged that "it was encouraging that they allowed us to be there", but was critical of the situation F1 is currently in.

"They were really, really welcoming, which was great," he said.

"I'm hoping they'll continue to have us there, a couple of us drivers each time.

"They've extended the decision of making the rules. I think they need to, because they are nowhere near where it needs to be in my opinion.

"They've got to make serious changes to the decisions they've already made for what 2021 should be."

Hamilton said that the root of his attendance was that the drivers are finally united under the GPDA banner and they are "just trying to get in the door and be a part of it [the rulemaking process]".

"For many, many years they've never wanted us in that room," said Hamilton. "Which I guess is why it's never happened.

"Because they are engineers and the guys that make the decisions. We're just drivers.

"But we know how the car feels and we have good positive criticism and negative criticism that can only help influence their decision.

"You can't make a rule change about something without having all the facts behind it, and what effect it will have.

"So we just go in there to try to be a guide and if we can be part of the rudder.

"If they come up with an idea, we can say, 'Actually that would feel terrible in the car'."

Hamilton said an element that was positive is F1's commitment to "a real aero package that hopefully will have an impact on [cars] following [one another]".

However, he claimed that the weight of the cars "is not a great thing" and wants the 2021-generation car to be lower and replicate "the speed of the cars in the early '00s".

"It still needs to be F1, the pinnacle of the sport and the fastest cars around the world," said Hamilton.

"Hopefully with us as a part of it we can make a real cool change.

"It's not only that, it's the format of the weekend that can shift a little bit for the fans, how we engage and bring the fans in.

"There's all these things that can be better."

Hulkenberg echoed Hamilton's views that the aero element of the 2021 rules was encouraging.

"The cars are fast, they are spectacular, the problem is you can't get close to a car," he said.

"But I think for the 2021 rules that hopefully will be addressed properly.

"I have faith that on the aero side, which is the most important, that will be corrected and adjusted the right side."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

shares
comments
FIA: Quick French GP F1 start-light procedure was within tolerances
Previous article

FIA: Quick French GP F1 start-light procedure was within tolerances

Next article

The wider significance of Hamilton's French GP masterclass

The wider significance of Hamilton's French GP masterclass
Load comments
The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021