The FIA wants to slow Mercedes down, Hamilton and Bottas react

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

F1 teams have been informed that the FIA will issue a new technical directive that will ban special qualifying engine modes from the Belgian Grand Prix onward.

The directive means the teams will be required to run the same engine mode in qualifying and races. The move is recognized by most as an attempt to prevent Mercedes from using the special “Party Mode” that allows the team to have better performance in qualifying.

At the Thursday Drivers’ Press Conference Lewis Hamilton was asked if he thought the ban would impact Mercedes more than other teams.

“No. And just going back to the fact that at the end of the day, the guys on our team have done such a great job with the engine,” said the Briton.

“It’s obviously to slow us down but I don’t think it’s going to get the result that they want, so that’s totally fine if they do.

“It’s not a surprise to us, they’re always trying to slow us down. But it doesn’t really change a huge amount for us so it’s not a problem.”


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His team-mate Valtteri Bottas  also wasn’t overly concerned about the move.

“It’s impossible to know with other engine manufacturers how much they can actually gain when they do it all-out in qualifying and if we’re gaining more or not,” said the Finn.

“We are not panicking about it, if that regulation comes it’s the same for everyone. But when I heard about the possibility for the first time, actually this morning, the first thing [that] came to my mind [is the effect it will have in races.

“Because every team obviously has different modes in terms of how much they want to risk in terms of wearing the engine and sometimes when they can [change the performance mode].

“[It’s] also the same for us, we can save the engine if we have margin, and also in terms of strategic things in the race, for drivers many times we are using different modes whether we are defending, attacking.

“So from my side it feels like if it could be the same engine mode for everyone all through the race, I think there could be less overtaking because everyone is just running the same modes instead of playing with them and trying to maximise every situation with sometimes using more power, sometimes less.

“But in the end it would be less things for us to do while driving. Obviously it’s not up to us but we’ll take it if it comes.”

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