Lewis Hamilton has hit out at plans to limit drivers to just three engines over the course of a season from next year.
Drivers are currently allowed four engines per year before incurring grid penalties, but the number will be cut down to three in 2018, as part of Formula 1’s cost saving efforts.
However, the Briton, who last month claimed his fourth world title, was distinctly unhappy about the move, claiming that it would force drivers to adopt a more conservative style of driving.
“I don’t like the idea of going to three,” Hamilton said.
“That sucks. Sprinting is what we are missing in F1.”
From next season cars will be heavier because of the introduction of the ‘halo’ driver cockpit head protection system. Coupled with the need to manage engines more carefully, heavier cars could make the sport unappealing, according to Hamilton.
“The car is going to be a bus next year, it is going to be so heavy, like a Nascar [US stock car],” he said.
“The braking distances get longer, the brakes are always on fire, on the limit.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has previously voiced doubts over the new engine regulations, suggesting five engines per driver would be the ideal number to have available throughout the season.
Despite starting from the pit lane after crashing in qualifying, Hamilton battled to a fourth place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday (12 November) and insisted his was the kind of performance that might soon be a thing of the past given the emphasis on preserving engines.
“As a racer we want fast, nimble cars where we can attack always every single lap,” he explained.
“Unfortunately that is not what we generally have. I had that today but I was coming from a different place.
“If you look at the front guys, they were managing and that is what we are normally doing.
“I don’t think that is too exciting for people to watch. If you look at the most exciting races – particularly when it rains – we don’t have those limitations.
“I’m not sure cutting down engines is helping it in that direction.”
Meanwhile, Formula 1 teams have also expressed concerns at the number of grid penalties handed out when a team uses more than the permitted number of engine parts. Fernando Alonso and his McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandorne have been hit with a combined 355 penalty grid places so far this season, while Renault-powered cars have racked up 330 penalty grid places.
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