Lewis Hamilton slams ‘ridiculous’ Formula 1 car weight

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Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has slammed the current weight of cars in Formula 1, calling the plans to add an additional 20 kg for 2017 “ridiculous”.

While the updated technical regulations for the 2017 season continue to be debated, the F1 Commission has agreed on a set of new bodywork rules that will alter the look of the cars.

As part of this, the minimum weight of cars will rise from 702 kg to an estimated 727 kg. When Hamilton made his grand prix debut back in 2007, the minimum weight was just 605 kg.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona earlier this week, Hamilton spoke out against the increased weight of F1 cars, believing that bringing this back down would resolve many of the issues with the technical regulations and aid tire management.

“Particularly the last few days, I’m driving these tires and I’m thinking to myself ‘why is it so difficult? What are the physical challenges with Pirelli? Why is the car sliding the way it does?’” Hamilton said.

“And I’m just realizing when I got to Formula 1 I think the car was 600kg. Now it’s 100kg heavier. I think that makes a big, big difference.

“They don’t actually have to change the regulations much to make the cars three seconds faster, they just need to make the cars lighter. They’re just super heavy, way too heavy.”

When told that the weight would increase by another 20 kg for 2017, Hamilton said: “I think that’s ridiculous personally.

“They were great at 600kg, nice and nimble, it was easier for the tires, we had less tire blow outs. The heavier you make the car, the more force on the tires. So the tires are going to feel even worse. Just puts more stress on Pirelli I guess to produce better tires.”

Hamilton said that drivers should be consulted more about proposed changes to the regulations, and although they are becoming more involved, the ideas for 2017 came from elsewhere.

“I think there have been some meetings to which we’ve been invited to over the last couple of years,” Hamilton said.

“I think we are starting to be more and more involved, but in terms of the regulation changes, I’m not sure if that’s something we’re particularly much a part of.

“I know Charlie [Whiting] is definitely keen to hear from us drivers what we think could be better, so I think they are being more and more open to it, but the ones that have been implemented just now has nothing to do with us I think.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III