Last month Lewis Hamilton called for “changes to the regulations” to curb Red Bull’s domination this year as Hamilton demands for ‘adaptation of F1 regulations’ to stop Red Bull, for ‘the show’.
Red Bull is set to win every single F1 Grands Prix this season. Is there not a risk that the public will tire of Red Bull’s domination? This is perhaps the fear of F1 ahead of the Miami Grand Prix (which was not sold out until a few days ago).
Maybe an ironic view for Hamilton who had dominated Formula 1 for many years prior.
F1 is boring?
“It’s not my job to convince people to watch a sport,” Hamilton said last month,
“I mean, I don’t watch it. It’s not boring to me. I challenge myself every day trying to get back to the top places. So it’s not boring from my point of view.”
“But as a racing fan, I can understand that there’s not as much competition as they’re used to with the NFL and NBA. It’s not that it’s not my doing.”
“F1 needs to do better as a sport. They’ve tried to bring teams together before, but it never seems to work. All I can say is that we’re working as hard as we can to get closer and give them a bit more excitement.”
Leclerc and Russell to do all they can to catch Red Bull
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc wades into the subject of ‘boring races’ saying: “I’ll do my best not to make things boring, but at the end of the day, it’s a sport. It’s like all sports, sometimes one team is just better than the others and at the moment that’s the case with Red Bull.”
“We’re working hard, like everyone else, to try and close the gap with the Red Bulls. to close the gap. I think that on one lap, we can maybe challenge them. In the race, it will be more difficult, but if there’s an opportunity, I’ll do my best to seize it, I’ll do my best to make the race more exciting.”
Does Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell think it’s finally possible to end Red Bull’s dominance this year? Or at least win a race for Mercedes, like last year?
“I’m sure we’ll make progress, but of course we want competition. The competition we have at the moment between Ferrari and Aston Martin, at every race we take part in, everything is very close. Our pace is very close in the races and if it was the fight for victory, it would probably be one of the most exciting seasons we’ve had.”
“And it’s a shame that there are two more cars in the lead, isn’t it? So let’s forget about these two Red Bulls and concentrate on the race for 3rd place. Maybe that’s a bit more exciting.”
“But yes, it’s a challenge. In any sport, you don’t want to see someone dominate. You want there to be competition and that’s what we all want. In an ideal world, you have 20 drivers and 10 teams, all capable of winning every weekend, provided they do the right job.”
Hamilton demands F1 change rules
And Lewis Hamilton comes up with an idea that is sure to please Milton Keynes: what if F1 looked to ‘adapt’ the regulations to bring the competition closer together?
“It’s good that we’re trying new things. I think it’s important that we continue to move forward and evolve. Technology has evolved. It’s just unfortunate that we still see the same kind of gap between the teams.”
“I don’t know what the solution is for the future, but we’re going to have to keep adapting these regulations, otherwise the situation could remain the same for years.” demands Hamilton.
Hamilton’s call rejected
This call was quickly dismissed by the FIA and even Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, who reminded us that F1 should remain a meritocracy.
“F1 is a meritocracy,” said the Mercedes team principal. “It’s sport, whether it is good for the show or not. Obviously a strong fight between 10 drivers or at least two, is much better for all of us but it is not happening, that is why you have to just accept that and work to get back there.”
Naturally, in Milton Keynes, Max Verstappen, who is crushing the championship, does not want such an adaptation of the regulations either.
But he has an ironclad argument with him: when Mercedes was at the height of its domination, the Dutchman didn’t call for a change in the regulations to put a stop to Mercedes’ recital.
“It’s all about hard work – and I appreciated and recognised the value of what Mercedes were doing at the time.”
“It was super impressive, so I never really felt like we had to stop that [that dominance] or anything. It was just a case of trying to work harder to catch up with them.”
However, when you dominate a championship as much as Max Verstappen does today, are you still as motivated from Grand Prix to Grand Prix?
“For me, there’s probably even more motivation – because you know you have a car that can win. When you sometimes get to a weekend where you’re fifth and that’s the best you can get… I mean, it’s still great, but it’s probably less motivating than when you get to a race and you know you can win.”