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.”