Hamilton demands more drivers' input into F1 rule changes

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, February 25, 2016. © Sergio Perez
World champion Lewis Hamilton says rule changes to F1 will have little effect on the sport and has demanded more consultation with drivers in the future.

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

Further technical changes have been proposed by the FIA for the 2017 season, but the Mercedes driver has not been consulted despite winning three titles in the last decade.

He said: "I don't really feel like it is going to change much. I hope it does, and surprises us, but generally the format is the same."

"I don't agree with the changes that have been made over many years and I do think the drivers should be consulted more. We do know what doesn't feel good and what to improve. Some of these drivers have been in the cars for 10-15 years and been through all these different rule changes and know which ones work and which ones don't.

"In terms of regulation changes, it is something we are not really much part of but those that have been implemented just now are nothing to do with us."

The changes to qualifying involve keeping the current system of three stages, but eliminate one driver at a time through each of the sessions. This would end with a 90-second ‘shoot-out’ for pole position between two drivers.

Williams' Felipe Massa says the system will cause confusion.

"I don't know if it I like it or not," Massa said. "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 boss Christian Horner believes the changes will add excitement to F1: "It could create a bit more randomness for the grid on Sunday, without artificially inverting grids," he said.

Changes have also been agreed by F1 bosses for the 2017 season which are designed to make the cars faster.

Wider cars, with wider bodywork and wider tires, will see more downforce created from the underfloor, but the changes have resulted in the cars being 20kg heavier.

Fans and media have criticized the changes, while Hamilton described the situation as "ridiculous."

After questioning why his car had been sliding around more on the track, Hamilton realized it was because of the increased weight.

"That makes a big, big difference," he said. "They don't have to change the regulations much to make it go faster, just make the cars lighter. They are just super heavy."

"I don't agree with the changes that are made and have been made for many years, so you just live with it."

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