Hamilton says cars still too heavy despite plan to slim down

cricket06 June 2024 21:14| © AFP
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Lewis Hamilton © Gallo Images

Lewis Hamilton on Thursday welcomed Formula One's plan for lighter more agile cars, but believes the sport's ruling body has not gone far enough in reducing their weight.

The seven-time champion said it was a "step in the right direction" as he responded to questions about the planned new regulations to be used from 2026 at a news conference on the eve of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

"It's only 30 kilos (66 lbs) so it's going in the right direction but it's still heavy," Hamilton said. "So, I mean I've only just seen what you've all seen this morning.

"I don't really have huge thoughts on it just yet, but I have spoken to some drivers who have driven it on a sim (simulator), as I haven't driven it on the sim, and they said it's pretty slow.

"So, we will see whether it's actually the right direction or not."

The Mercedes driver, who has won in Canada a record seven times, shared with Ferrari great Michael Schumacher, added some praise for the sport's impending move towards sustainable fuels.

"I think in terms of sustainability on the PU (power unit) side, it's a bold step and in the right direction," he said.

"We've just got to make sure the cars are efficient, fast and a natural step forward – and actually the racing is improved."

Under the proposed new rules, the minimum weight of the cars will be reduced from 798 kilos to 768.

Hamilton was one of many drivers in recent years to complain that the cars had become too big and too cumbersome.

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg agreed with Hamilton and suggested more can be done.

"Yeah, it's certainly quite different and has some interesting areas and aspects, some that still need a bit further work," he said.

"And like Lewis said the weight reduction is good but 30kg is not the world. And it looks like a lot less downforce, especially in high-speed corners, so it will be a different scenario and characteristic to now.

"There's definitely going to be a drastic change and change is always .. you know, you're not always so open to it, but we'll see what happens between now and in the one-and-a-half years if there might be some small adjustments or not."

The 2026 regulations package is set to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council on June 28.