HAMILTON MATT JAMES AMES
SLAMS NEW 2017 TECH REGULATIONS THE VOICE OF NATIONAL RACING “Factions will pull in different directions”
Lewis Hamilton has slammed Formula 1’s rulemakers for making the wrong decisions after the latest technical regulation changes were unveiled.
Teams agreed new rules will be introduced for 2017 resulting in cars being three seconds per lap faster, after a meeting of the F1 Commission last week.
Red Bull had suggested making cars five to six seconds a lap quicker but in the end a compromise was reached.
But three-time champion Hamilton has said the wrong decisions have been made for a number of years.
“I don’t agree with the changes that are made, and have been made for many, many years,” he said. “We just live with it.
“I think the drivers should be consulted, and I’m sure they’ve been involved more in recent decisions – not the ones that have just been made.
“But we do have a feeling in the car, some ideas of what could be better. We do know what is not good.
“For those who have been driving 10 to 15 years and have been through all the different rule changes, they know which ones worked and which ones didn’t.”
After months of discussions, draft regulations have been produced for next season, with cars being made wider generally to deliver a reduction in lap times.
Front wings and the floor between the front and rear tyres will both become 200mm wider, while the rear wing will be 150mm wider. The rear wing will also be lowered, resulting in regulations that are very similar to those used in F1 before 2009.
Bargeboards will also increase in size, while the diffuser and tyres will become wider. Front tyres will be 60mm wider than the current size, while the increase will be 80mm at the rear.
All of the exact details will be finalised by April 30 but the lengthy debate over the new rules will leave teams with only nine months to prepare new designs.
“I think it’s really, really difficult bearing in mind there have already been a few fundamental changes since early December,” said Williams’s technical chief Pat Symonds.
“In two-and-a-half months, we’ve seen three quite distinct sets of regulations.
“We think we know where we are now, but if we don’t know where we are until May, that’s tough for the smaller teams.
“It [the delay] has a much bigger impact on smaller and less well-financed teams. If you have a big team with a lot of people and good manufacturing facilities, you can react to late changes quicker.
“It’s much more difficult for Williams than it is for Ferrari and Mercedes.”