Lewis Hamilton is urging the FIA to establish a designated date for teams to commence their development endeavours on the next season’s Formula 1 car. However, Max Verstappen holds a different perspective on this matter.
Red Bull’s dominance has been unchallenged in the current season, triumphing in all eight races thus far. Their remarkable undefeated streak at the outset of the 2023 campaign remains intact, posing a formidable challenge to their rivals.
Max Verstappen has established an impressive 69-point advantage over his teammate Sergio Perez, while Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin trails behind by an additional nine points.
Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, has experienced the thrill of chasing Verstappen, finishing as the runner-up in both Australia and Spain. In light of Red Bull’s overwhelming dominance, Hamilton is advocating for a fresh regulation regarding car development.
“The car is moving in the right direction,” Hamilton told Sky on Thursday ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
“I think ultimately it’s likely that bit by bit at the end of the year we will probably catch Red Bull, but that’s probably because they are already focusing on next year’s car.
“They’re so far ahead, they don’t have to make any changes to this car anymore as they’re so far ahead.
“I think the FIA should probably put a time when everyone is allowed to start developing on next year’s car. Say August 1, that’s where everybody can start so that no one can get an advantage on the next year, cause that sucks.
“It would make more sense. They should. Say for example you start the season and you know you have a bad car, you can just say I’m not going to bother developing this car and put all this money into next year’s car and have an advantage.”
In response to the notion that Mercedes had the opportunity to benefit from a comparable development advantage during their own era of F1 supremacy, Lewis Hamilton stated, “We never initiated our development as early as they did.”
“It needs to change because that’s why you have dominance for so long and they keep allowing it to happen. Ferrari was ahead and the same thing happened there, the same with Red Bull and Seb [Vettel] back in the day, they start earlier so they’re always ahead.”
In a direct and straightforward response, two-time world champion Verstappen seemed to brush off Hamilton’s complaint.
“Life is unfair as well. It’s not only in F1. A lot of things in life are unfair so we just have to deal with it.”
He continued: “We weren’t talking about it when he was winning his championships, right?
“So I don’t think we should now. It’s how Formula 1 works. When you have a competitive car, it’s great.
“But at one point you also have to look ahead to the next year. It’s normal that people who are behind say these kinds of things.
“But they should also not forget when they were winning, how it was looking, and if people would comment on these things.
“Probably, they would comment differently. That’s how it goes in Formula 1.”
The Dutch driver will be looking ahead to secure a podium finish in Austria this week, and that would mark his 9th consecutive podium appearance this season, placing him second in the record books.
In the past, drivers such as Alonso in 2006, Hamilton in 2007, Vettel in 2011, and Hamilton alongside Rosberg in 2015 have all achieved 9 consecutive podium finishes in their respective seasons.
However, the reigning record holder is undeniably Michael Schumacher, who accomplished an impressive streak of 17 consecutive podium finishes throughout the entirety of the 2002 season.