BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has condemned plans to introduce heavier cars in 2017 and criticized rulemakers for failing to consult drivers.
A list of proposed bodywork changes for 2017 published by the governing FIA on Wednesday envisaged car weights increasing from 702kg to 722kg including bigger tyres which accounted for an estimated five kg.
The measures are part of a package of sweeping changes aimed at livening up the sport with faster, louder and more challenging cars, which will also be wider.
“I don’t agree with the changes that have been made over many years,” Mercedes driver Hamilton told reporters after the third day of pre-season testing on Wednesday.
“I think the drivers should be consulted more. We have a feeling in the car and what could be made better. We do know what does not feel good and what to improve,” added the 31-year-old Briton.
Hamilton said cars were already too heavy and should be made substantially lighter as a means of making them go faster.
He pointed out that when he entered the sport with McLaren in 2007, before the current V6 turbo hybrid era, the cars had weighed around 600 kg.
“I know (race director) Charlie (Whiting) is keen to hear from us drivers on what can be better, but those that have been implemented just now are nothing to do with us,” said the triple champion.
“We need some more battles. I don’t know what the answer is but whatever the decisions they have been making, they have not been working for some time.”
The season starts in Australia on March 20 with Hamilton hoping to become the first British driver to win four championships.
Editing by Ed Osmond