F1’s Lewis Hamilton has launched an extraordinary attack on the sport’s governing body, saying they want to slow down the Mercedes car as he bids for a record-equalling seventh world title.
The FIA look set to ban certain electronic modes during qualifying, as this has helped Mercedes to turn their engine up to maximum power as they bid for their seventh Constructors’ Championship on the bounce.
Hamilton, who currently sits 30 points clear in the standings ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, has hit out at the FIA as he looks to equal Michael Schumacher's title haul.
“It’s not a surprise,” he commented, as per The Sun. “It’s obviously to slow us down, they’re always trying to slow us down, but I don’t think it’s going to get the result they want.
"The guys at our team have just done such a good job with the engine. But that’s totally fine if they do it.”
The move could see a change in fortunes for the rest of the grid, with the decision potentially coming into play at the Belgian GP at Spa in just two races time.
The last two races at Silverstone also saw new regulations hamper Mercedes’ efforts, with tyre pressure issues seeing the team drop points in both races.
Just five races into the calendar and the team have already recorded four wins and eight podiums, but this change to qualifying rules could see the two drivers have much more of a fight on their hands for the top spots.
Mercedes’ number two driver Valtteri Bottas also had his say on the matter, but was far less critical of the decision than his teammate Hamilton.
“We are not panicking. If the regulation comes then it is the same for everyone. We’ll just take it as it comes,” said the Finnish driver.
This week’s Spanish Grand Prix from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya could be the last chance Mercedes have at using ‘party mode’, as race engineer Pete Bonnington once labelled it, before the new regulations come in to play.
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