Lewis Hamilton says drivers should not be blamed for boring races after admitting he prefers a tougher fight after easing to victory in the French Grand Prix.
Last time out in Canada, Hamilton chased down Sebastian Vettel in a close battle for the win before the Ferrari driver was penalized, but at Paul Ricard he finished 18 seconds clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas and was never under serious threat. Hamilton insists his focus is always to get the maximum performance regardless of the margin behind, and says any complaints about a race not being exciting should not be directed at the drivers.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been one for showboating, so I think, with the world that we’re in today, you can’t win and you lose either way you do it,” Hamilton said. “People having an opinion about one way that you do it or another. I prefer to just keep my head down and keep chipping away at things.
“Naturally I would love… I really enjoyed the last race (Canada) and races like that. I’ve never made it a secret. That’s the races I think in general people enjoy most. And, of course, these ones are not the ones that people enjoy the most — but I think it’s really important for people to realize it’s not the drivers’ fault.
“This is a constant cycle of Formula 1 for years and years and years, even before I got to Formula 1, and it’s because the way Bernie (Ecclestone) had it set up and the decisions they were making back then; it’s still the same. Until that management structure changes, it will continue to be the same, in my opinion. That’s not my job to do that. My job’s to come here and do the best I can as a driver.”
Hamilton then referenced his own presence at an extraordinary meeting between the teams, FIA and F1 in Paris just over a week ago that resulted in the 2021 regulations being delayed, saying it shows he is serious about increasing driver input to try and help improve the racing on offer.
“When you write the story and you say that… if you say that it’s boring… if you do, I totally understand it and I remember growing up watching. Don’t point the fingers at the drivers because we don’t write the rules, we have nothing to do with the money shifting, all that kind of stuff… You should put the pressure on the people that are at the head, who should be doing the job.
“I think they are trying to but for many, many years they’ve made bad decisions. Do I have confidence that it’s going to shift massively? I have faith that it’s going to get better — I really, really hope so, to the point that I went to Paris last week to get involved.
“I was in that meeting, watching all the bosses of F1. I think there was the FIA and all the Formula 1 teams, and trying to get involved… I have nothing to gain by it by being there but if there’s anything I can help… they’ve been making all these decisions and never once had a driver’s input in that room, so if that can be the decisive point that helps shift it and the fans can get better racing, I will be proud to be a part of that.”