Drivers should be consulted on track design - Lewis Hamilton
Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton believes drivers should be consulted on track design in order to assist the quality of racing in Formula 1.
Formula 1 is in the process of forming its sporting and technical regulations for the 2021 season, with an emphasis placed on creating cars that facilitate close racing.
But Hamilton has stressed that track layout should also be taken into account and reckons drivers should play an active role in the future.
"Probably in the history of the sport, the drivers have never been a part of the decision-making in terms of advising on tracks," said Hamilton.
"We know better than anybody which track we can overtake and which track we can’t.
"I don’t know who does the selection, and I know it’s not that they always have a ton of tracks in every country that is possible to race a grand prix – but there are ones that they’re selecting for the future that we’re going to have not such great racing, the ones that are on the calendar that aren’t great.
"People always ask me which are my favourite tracks and this is one of them because you can follow. It’s just spectacular with the high speed. Austin, Texas is built like that, as a new circuit. But then we’ve got places where you just can’t follow and it’s like a train.
"Having a race in those countries just for the sake of having a race – or do you want a great race like this?
"If so, then we need to look at the different options in different countries. I think the really cool track they used to have in Hockenheim – and it still is awesome – but the big, long one they used to have is quite unique. There was always good racing there but they changed it.
"Hopefully the GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers’ Association] can be part of in this next step in 2021 rules. We can be a part of advising on that. We’re there to help make the sport better.
"If they’re open to it… we’re happy having the grands prix in these different countries but if they’re open to the idea of changing or adapting some of the circuits or using a different circuit in the countries, then we should look into that."
Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas also suggested circuits are not decided on their technical merits, but rather than potentially for political or financial reasons which he feels is not the right direction for F1.
"I agree completely," added the Finn. "You know definitely it’s all about the selection of the tracks.
"I’m sure many of the track selections for the calendar, it’s just pure political reasons and money, rather than actually focusing on whether it’s good for racing or not. From our side, it’s not that nice.
"We love racing. Everyone loves good racing, so that’s how it should be. And, like Lewis said, as a GPDA, we’re very keen to give our input because we’re in the car.
"We know exactly which type of tracks we need to have good racing. We have the feeling. So we are very, very happy to help. And obviously, big plans with new cars, everything for 2021, so hopefully it is going into a better direction, so fingers crossed."