In expressing his views on FIA regulations, Lewis Hamilton clarified that his call to restrict early team focus on the following season’s challenger was not directed specifically at Max Verstappen.
Red Bull’s remarkable dominance from 2022 has seamlessly continued into the F1 2023 season, with an impressive streak of eight consecutive wins in the opening rounds, signalling their strong potential for yet another title double.
Among these victories, Max Verstappen has secured six of the eight grands prix, cementing his position at the top and building a substantial 69-point lead over his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez.
During an interaction with the media in preparation for the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton put forth a daring proposition to put an end to the eras of dominance that have often defined Formula 1’s history.
However, Verstappen offered a straightforward response to his former title rival, highlighting that Hamilton had also experienced a period of dominant success with Mercedes before the current Verstappen era. During this time, Hamilton achieved record-breaking triumphs, including securing six World titles.
In response to Verstappen’s remarks, Hamilton acknowledged the period of F1 domination that he himself experienced and recognized that Verstappen is currently revelling in a similar position of strength.
However, Hamilton made it clear that his comments were not solely a reaction to Verstappen’s current unstoppable form. Instead, they were a plea to prevent such instances from recurring in the future, aiming for a more balanced and competitive landscape in the sport.
“It’s not like aimed at any one particular person or anything. It’s just that obviously in my 17 years of being here… before even I got here, you would see periods of dominance,” Hamilton remarked.
“It continues to happen. I think as a sport, we do at some stage – I was really fortunate to have one of those periods that Max is having now but with the way it’s going, it will continue to happen over and over again.
“And I don’t think we need that in the sport. Just from my personal experience, when you’re so far ahead, you’re 100 points ahead, you don’t really need to do a lot more development on your car, so you can start earlier on your next car.
“With the budget cap that means spending that year’s car money on next year’s car, but if everyone had a cut-off, a time, everyone knew that it could then start – whatever date it is, October, probably too late, but August 1 [for example], something like that, that nobody has a head start and it’s a real race in that short space of time for the future car.
“I don’t know, maybe that would help everyone be more level and closer the following year.
I might be wrong but something’s got to change because if you continue having- when we were winning world championships we could start earlier than everybody else.