Lewis Hamilton believes experiments with the race weekend format suggest Formula 1 is not confident about the changes it is making to the regulations in 2021.
F1 is keen to trial different race weekend formats at certain events next season, with one idea being a qualifying race – using a grid set by reverse championship order – being used instead of the current qualifying session. Hamilton says he is worried some of the changes being explored have not taken into account the opinions of the drivers that were voiced during meetings earlier this year.
“The concern I had back then is still the same concern,” Hamilton said. “The fact that now they are trying the reverse grid and all that feels like an excuse for not doing a good enough job.
“The decision process, that we’ve talked about, is making heavier cars – why are they making heavier cars? There is absolutely no reason to make the cars heavier. It’s not safer, it’s not better for racing, so my points are still the same. I’m still concerned, and I don’t think that is going to change, to be honest. From what I’ve experienced and witnessed in the meeting, it is what it is.”
Asked why an artificial change could be investigated when the 2021 regulations are supposed to promote closer racing, Hamilton laughed: “Because the changes they have made in all the previous years have not been that effective, so they are probably not that confident with the decision-making process!
“I don’t know. It’s not an easy job ultimately, because there are a lot of people involved in a decision-making process. I think us drivers are trying to have more of an impact and more of a role in trying to help them make a better decision. But it doesn’t seem to have made much difference.”
Hamilton insists he is not against the idea of mixing up the race weekend formats in general, but warned that one set approach won’t suit every F1 venue.
“It’s not particularly my decision to make but I am not opposed to changing the weekend format because, it can be very boring, the same format every weekend for 21, 22, 23 races,” he said.
“And on some races like Singapore, where it’s not a good race for actually being able to race, maybe make some adjustments, and maybe on that weekend it’s a different format. The same with Monaco, it’s not a great race so maybe you do something different.
“I’m absolutely up for that as long as it’s thought about properly and not just shooting in the dark, which a lot of the time these super-intelligent people do.”