Sports

Lewis Hamilton admits Formula 1 show 'needs dramatic overhaul'

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes moved within reach of breaking some of Formula One's most notable records with his flawless unchallenged triumph in Sunday's French Grand Prix.

But his extraordinary success - his victory was his sixth in eight races this year - prompted a negative reaction in some quarters from critics who find Mercedes' domination "boring" and the races lacking in suspense and thrills.

Hamilton, who admits his success feels "unreal", said yesterday he understood if spectators, or the global broadcast audience, lost interest but urged them to blame the sport's rules, not the drivers.

"We need to see a dramatic overhaul," he said, adding that the structure of the sport's management was also in need of change.

"It's really important that people realise it's not the drivers' fault - this is a constant cycle of F1 for years and years. And before I got to F1. It's because the way (former chief executive) Bernie (Ecclestone) had it set up and the decisions they made then.

"Until that structure changes, it will be the same."

As Hamilton and Mercedes continue their relentless destruction of the records, it is unreasonable to ask his team to slow down, as the president of the sport's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation Jean Todt, has pointed out.

"It is beautiful to see 20 cars at a marvellous circuit, truly modern, a real motor racing circuit, with the best teams and the best drivers in the world," he said.

"Then, if one team is better, and you see this in all sports, it is because it is the strongest."

Hamilton's team boss Toto Wolff said he understood the perceived problem.

"I hear you and, from a fan's perspective, I get it," he said.

"But it's an unfair question because what would you do in our shoes? You would continue to push relentlessly for performance. It is what we do.

"But the fans see a race that is less enjoyable to watch."- AFP

OTHER SPORTS