Lewis Hamilton: Formula 1’s three-engine limit for drivers ‘sucks’

Formula 1


Can we ever really compare the F1 greats?

World champion Lewis Hamilton says the move to limit drivers to just three engines next season “sucks”.

Drivers are limited to four engines this season before incurring grid penalties, and the rules are cutting that back in 2018 to reduce costs.

Hamilton said reducing the number of engines would mean drivers were able to push hard in races less often.

“I don’t like the idea of going to three. That sucks. Sprinting is what we are missing in F1,” Hamilton said.

He said increasing the need to manage engines in races to extend their life combined with the weight of the cars – which is going up next year because of the introduction of the ‘halo’ driver cockpit head protection system – made racing more unappealing.

“The car is going to be a bus next year, it is going to be so heavy, like a Nascar (stock car),” Hamilton said after the Brazilian Grand Prix, in which he was able to push his engine hard because a new one was fitted to aid his fight back from a pit-lane start.

“The braking distances get longer, the brakes are always on fire, on the limit.

“I know it sounds negative but as a racer we want fast, nimble cars where we can attack always every single lap.

Hamilton pushed his Mercedes to the limit in pursuit of a podium finish in Brazil

“Unfortunately that is not what we generally have. I had that today but I was coming from a different place.

“If you look at the front guys, they were managing and that is what we are normally doing.

“I don’t think that is too exciting for people to watch. If you look at the most exciting races – particularly when it rains – we don’t have those limitations.

“I’m not sure cutting down engines is helping it in that direction.”

Hamilton is not alone in questioning the move to three engines.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he believed five engines per driver year was the ideal number. But attempts to stop the move to three next year have so far failed.

There is also a widespread concern in F1 that the grid penalties that are handed out when a team uses more than the permitted number of engine parts are making F1 a farce.

The McLaren-Honda drivers alone have been hit with a total of nearly 400 grid penalty places in the 19 races so far this season and team insiders say they expect to have more at the final race in Abu Dhabi on 24-26 November.



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