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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton happy Mercedes was pegged back during dominant run

The Mercedes driver has explained the benefits of dominant teams being drawn back by regulation changes.

Hamilton Monza
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton has insisted that changes designed to stop Mercedes' Formula 1 dominance were "better for the sport" amid Red Bull's dominance.

Between 2014 and 2021, Hamilton won six of the eight Drivers' titles with Mercedes securing a clean sweep of Constructors' championships on offer, but have been usurped by Red Bull and Max Verstappen since the adoption of the ground-effect technical regulations for 2022.

Verstappen has won 27 of the 36 races since the beginning of 2022, including a record-breaking 10 straight between the 2023 Miami and Italian Grands Prix.

This has prompted calls for regulation changes to be made to draw Red Bull back, with Hamilton's Mercedes facing changes being made during their dominant run.

Ahead of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, so-called engine 'party modes' were banned for qualifying with drivers forced to stay in the same setting throughout as well as floor tweaks to the 2021 cars after they were carried over from '20.

Verstappen did pip Hamilton to the 2021 title after a season-long battle but the seven-time champion feels such changes created a better overall spectacle.

Hamilton's rule changes

"We've experienced lots of changes which we put in place to slow us down over the years, and that was better for the sport," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.

"If you look at 2020, our qualifying pace was amazing, but they took away our qualifying [engine] mode for example, and it brought us closer in qualifying.

"On one side, the engineers did an incredible job and they deserved it in merit, but as a racing fan, we want to see all of us a lot closer.

"This season, behind the Red Bulls, we've seen quite a good championship this season between the Ferraris, Astons and all the teams are looking a lot closer than ever before.

"So in some ways, the rule change has worked, in others there is still some work that needs to be done.

"If you look at some of the teams, we are all capped [on the amount of money that can be spent], but some teams don't have the same resources in terms of whether it is the wind-tunnel, or stuff at the factory that the bigger teams had because they had loads of money to throw at it a long, long time ago and they can't catch up now.

"There is always work to do, but the sport has done a great job and I do hope for the fans in the future that we don't see Mercedes or Ferrari or another team dominate for 10 years.

"That is not in the best interest of what us drivers want or what the fans or teams want.

"We want close competition and i hope that it gets better and better."

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