Lewis Hamilton critical of F1’s 2022 rule – ‘I don’t understand why’

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has expressed concern over the sport’s wholesale regulation changes for 2022, claiming that the increased weight of the cars will counteract efforts to improve sustainability. The Mercedes star has called on F1 to reduce its environmental impact on a number of previous occasions, with Grand Prix racing often coming under fire as a result of its fossil fuel usage and significant logistical challenges.

The organisation has announced plans to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, but it seems as though next year’s rules could have a detrimental effect on their goal.

The new regulations will introduce simplified aerodynamics and the return of a ground-effect formula, with the aim of creating closer racing and levelling the playing field somewhat.

It is believed that these changes will reduce the effect of dirty air on chasing cars, a problem that has mandated the recent usage of DRS in order to encourage overtaking during races.

However, the cars will also become the heaviest in history, with the minimum weight currently set at no less than 790kg.

The move to heavier hybrid power units seven years ago and the introduction of the halo in 2018 have seen cars grow increasingly larger, with next year’s changes marking an increase in weight of 150kg since the end of the V8 era.

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Hamilton, who currently trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship standings, has suggested that lighter cars would help F1 to address their environmental concerns by reducing the amount of energy required to power them.

The 36-year-old also highlighted the lack of on-track action at circuits like Monaco in recent years, laying the blame with the bulkiness of the current machinery.

“I don’t understand why we’re going heavier,” Hamilton told Motorsport.com. “I don’t understand particularly why we go heavier when there’s all this talk about being more sustainable, just as the sport is going in that direction.

“By going heavier and heavier and heavier, you’re using more and more energy. So that feels that’s not necessarily in the right direction or in the thought process.

“The lighter cars were more nimble, were nowhere near as big, naturally, and so racing, manoeuvring the car, was better.

“On the tracks we’re going to, they’re getting wider. In Baku it’s quite wide in places and of course it’s narrow in other places.

“Monaco was always relatively impossible to pass, but now the cars are so big that it’s too big for the track. And, as I said, as we get heavier and heavier, that’s more energy we’ve got to dissipate.

“Bigger brakes, more brake dust, more fuel to get you to the locations. So, I don’t fully understand it.”

Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo driver and F1 veteran Kimi Raikkonen also highlighted the disparity in size between modern cars and those of yesteryear, suggesting that recent rule changes have done little to improve the overall quality of racing.

“It’s a lot when you see the old cars next to this year’s cars or even the last year’s cars,” added the 41-year-old. “Some years it’s: ‘How small they look!’

“So, obviously we are not here to design. I think if we still did race [in] the mid-2000s or whatever year you want to pick cars, it wouldn’t make any difference to racing.

“It just wastes an awful lot of money on the way to get to here and nothing else has changed.”

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