Hamilton sees 2022 regs as a ‘step backwards’

Date published: May 22 2021 - Jon Wilde

Lewis Hamilton

Sir Lewis Hamilton thinks the “heavier, slower” cars Formula 1 will have in 2022 mean the sport is taking a backward step with its new regulations.

The biggest change for a significant number of years is incoming as F1 strives to bunch up the field, potentially shuffle the pack and generate more exciting racing in which overtaking moves are easier.

But from the information he has gathered so far, the seven-time World Champion does not see the advantages.

He may, of course, have eight Drivers’ titles by 2022 and while giving no recent indications that he would walk away from the sport if he was to achieve that record-breaking number of championships this year, the Mercedes racer is sceptical about the perceived bright new era.

“I’ve had a look at it,” Hamilton told AS about the rule changes. “If you are in F1, you have to understand the technology that’s in place, the complications of the budget ceiling, how difficult it will be to develop from now on.

“For example, I did a test with the 18-inch tyres [at Imola last month] to know what the difference is, how it will affect me as a driver when it comes to taking the car next year.

“The cars will be heavier and slower, and that seems to me a step backwards. We should be faster and more efficient – these cars were better when they were lighter.

“But the people in charge have made those decisions and there’s nothing left to do but accept it.”

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The 36-year-old Briton insisted that if he does go on to win an eighth world title this year, it “wouldn’t change anything”.

“I know who I am, where I come from and what I’m capable of,” said Hamilton. “I’ve no idea if I’m going to win it, although I’m working towards it, but it certainly won’t change anything important in my life.

“The numbers are not what worries me the most. I worry about who I am. Of course I want to win the World Championship though, there’s a huge team working behind me for that.”

Hamilton also refuses to engage in the debate over whether his talent or the Mercedes car is the main factor in his success.

“I know how hard I’ve had to work to be strong, not make mistakes, extract every opportunity I’ve had and nobody can take that away from me,” he added.

“With more wheel-to-wheel battles, I hope to have more opportunities to prove it, for people to see what I’m capable of.

“I will continue to fight and compete. I hope everyone sees more of me.”

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