Lewis Hamilton insists rule makers should ask drivers to help improve F1

Giles Richards
Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Leading the Formula One world championship with another easy win from the front at the French Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton criticised Formula One, the FIA and the sport’s teams as being responsible for the lack of competition in the racing, accusing them of repeatedly making mistakes. Hamilton was adamant that if F1 is to improve the drivers need to be more involved in composing new regulations for the 2021 season.

Hamilton led every lap of the race at Circuit Paul Ricard and was not challenged either by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was second, or Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was third. Hamilton has now won six of the eight grands prix this season and his Mercedes team remain unbeaten. Mercedes have won the drivers’ and constructors’ championships every year since 2014.

Related: Dominant Lewis Hamilton wins the French Grand Prix as Vettel slips back

“When you say ‘it’s boring’ – I totally understand it but don’t point the fingers at the drivers because we don’t write the rules,” Hamilton told journalists. “We should put the pressure on the people that are at the head. I think they are trying but for many, many years they’ve made bad decisions.”

Last week the teams met the FIA and F1 to discuss the new regulations in Paris, a meeting Hamilton voluntarily attended to offer his opinions. He has been in F1 since 2007 and driven through a variety of different regulations including a range of tyre and aerodynamic formulae. He was convinced drivers have to be more involved.

“Do I have confidence it’s going to shift massively? I have faith it’s going to get better, to the point that I went to Paris last week to get involved. I was in that meeting watching all the bosses of F1 and the FIA and all the teams. I have nothing to gain by it. They’re making all these decisions but never once had a driver’s input in that room so if that can be the decisive point that helps shift it so the fans can get better racing, I’d be proud to be a part of that.”

The regulations currently having to be agreed by complex horse trading between the teams, the FIA and F1, with vested interests playing a major part. Hamilton was insistent that fundamental change in the governance of the sport was required.

“It’s really important for people to realise it’s not the driver’s fault,” he said. “This is a constant cycle of F1, for years and years, even before I got here, it’s because of the way Bernie [Ecclestone] had it set up and the decisions that were made then are still the same. Until that management structure changes it will continue to be the same. That’s not my job, it’s my job to do the best I can as a driver.”