Alonso and Hamilton hit out at 'broken F1'

Thu Mar 3, 2016 6:11pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, two drivers with five world titles between them, portrayed Formula One on Thursday as a 'broken' sport burdened with over-complicated rules and uncertain where it was heading.

Hamilton, who can win a third successive title with Mercedes this season and the fourth of his career, was asked during pre-season testing whether he felt the sport was broken, lacking direction or healthy.

"I would probably say the first two," he told a news conference. "I don't want to say too much about it, but I do agree with the first two."

With the opening race of the 2016 championship in Australia little more than two weeks away, the sport has yet to decide what format qualifying will be this season and when any new version might be introduced.

A change was announced last week but commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the necessary software could not be ready in time for Melbourne.

Team managers then agreed a further change, with a knock-out system for the first two phases but reverting to the old format for the last one. That has yet to be accepted by the governing FIA, however.

"It was fine, it was okay. Why confuse people more," Hamilton said of the proposed qualifying switch to an elimination format.

There is also uncertainty over future rules, with an attempt to reach agreement for 2017 -- when cars are supposed to be faster, more aggressive and harder to handle -- kicked down the road for further discussion.   Continued...

 
Formula One - Barcelona tests - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Barcelona, Spain - 3/3/16. Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton takes a curve. REUTERS/Albert Gea