Hamilton: F1 must change to create closer, natural racing

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Lewis Hamilton has joined the call for change in Formula 1 by stressing the importance of close, organic racing.

The sport’s technical regulations are poised to be overhauled in 2017 in a bid to improve the on-track spectacle that has been blamed for dwindling TV figures and track attendances in recent years.

In Thursday’s press conference ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, a number of drivers were asked about the push to better F1 and make the sport faster, widening the gap to support championships such as GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5.

Although Hamilton was not fully aware of the changes that were being put forward for 2017, the Briton said that something definitely needed to be altered to improve the racing in F1.

“I think it does need to change,” Hamilton said. “I’ve not really looked at the changes they’re proposing, to be honest, but it needs to be… for example, with the DRS, it doesn’t feel organic, like natural racing.

“Whatever changes they make, I want to see closer racing. Wheel to wheel racing. It needs to be like go-karting was. If, you know, go-karting, wheel to wheel and those guys following the train overtaking. We need to make Formula 1 a bit more like that somehow.

“I don’t know how they’re going to do it. It needs to be a lot different to what it was in the last 20 years.”

Hamilton’s thoughts were echoed by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who said that F1 needs to become faster and more exciting for fans to watch.

“F1 should be easily the fastest racing cars in the world and it doesn’t look right some races where we go and GP2s are a few seconds off,” Raikkonen said.

“[F1 cars] should be definitely faster, more like they were in the mid-2000s. I think that’s the way they plan to go and I think it’s more fun for us, it looks much more greater to the spectators.

“But also, they have to make it nicer for all the people. Everybody is complaining it’s boring, it’s this and that. If something doesn’t change nobody will care how the car looks or how fast they are.

“Something has to change, that’s for sure, for F1 to get back more interesting for everybody – but I think it’s a good way to go, make the cars faster and more exciting looking.”