Lewis Hamilton: F1 should use 2016 to experiment with formats

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 must not be scared to try new things to tweak the race weekend format and should use this year to experiment in preparation for 2017

Lewis Hamilton: F1 should use 2016 to experiment with formats

The elimination-style qualifying format was hastily introduced for the season opening grand prix in Australia and received heavy criticism.

F1 reverted to the previous system from China, with teams agreeing to complete "a global assessment of the format of the weekend" this season.

Hamilton said even though F1 has gone back after trying something new with qualifying, that should not dissuade it trying other ideas during 2016 ahead of next year's planned changes.

"I just feel like they shouldn't be scared to try things," he said.

"We've gone back to the same qualifying rule, which we knew we already should have done in the last race after Australia but then it was a failure in the second one, which we knew it would be.

"No new ideas have come out, which is not great.

"I definitely think we should use this year as an opportunity to come up with some ideas and test some things which have a small implication on the race weekend.

"If the fans saw that we tried another new format and it didn't work, sure they might not like it, but they would at least know that we are trying and we are in that development phase for next year."

Hamilton conceded he does not know what the answer is in terms of improving the weekend format, but he does feel a change would be good for the fans.

"For the last 10 years it's pretty much been the same Thursday to Sunday," he said.

"I love the driving, but for sure if the format was different each weekend it would be exciting for people.

"It doesn't have to be every weekend, but if you had a super race weekend or three heats, I don't know, but something different.

"It needs to be different, because 21 races of the same weekend, I just think we should shake it up a bit.

"The cool thing was when I was in GP2, which is the only formula where I've really had a difference, we had a Saturday and a Sunday race, with sprint and feature race, which is kind of neat to have.

"It's a difference and you know the next day you are faced with a different challenge.

"One race you have stops and one race you have no stops, so I'm not saying we need more races but maybe at different weekends you can have different scenarios so that there is a different goal."

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