--
 
Top new models for SA

From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Hamilton to tifosi: 'New F1 is not boring'

2014-04-04 10:30

STILL EXCITING: Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton says the 2014 F1 era is not boring - other teams are just sore losers. Image: AP/ Kamran Jebreili

ALAN BALDWIN

MANAMA, Bahrain - Lewis Hamilton has defended Formula 1 against accusations of being boring and suggested that those raising their voice now Mercedes is on top had kept quiet when their team was winning everything.

Mercedes won the first two races of the 2014, new-look, V6 turbo/hybrid era with Nico Rosberg and Hamilton looking dominant while champions Red Bull and glamour team Ferrari are having to play catch-up.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has been a prominent critic of the 2014 technical changes, saying quieter cars and the emphasis on fuel-saving taking away the excitement and turning F1 racers into taxi drivers.

'NATURE OF THE GAME'

Montezemolo is expected to attend the April 6 2014 Bahrain GP where he will discuss the situation with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone - another critic of the new engines - and Jean Todt, head of the sport's governing International Automobile Federation.

Hamilton, 2008 F1 champion when he was driving for McLaren and winner for Mercedes of the March 30 Malaysian F1 GP, would not be drawn on the politics of the sport but clearly disagreed with the Ferrari boss.

He said: "Montezemolo didn't say a thing when Michael (Schumacher) won those fivechampionships (in a row). When McLaren won all its championships the team said nothing, and the same with Red Bull when it won - and said nothing.

"Someone else gets in the lead and they'll say something. It's the nature of the game."

FERRARI SURVEY

Mercedes is favourite to win on April 6 at the Sakhir circuit; it and other Mercedes-powered teams are scoring from a 'power unit' that's been performing better than those from Ferrari and Renault.

Ferrari has yet to get one of its drivers on a 2014 podium: Fernando Alonso was fourth in Australia and Malaysia. The Italian team published on April 3 the results of a survey conducted through its websitewith 50 000 fans responding, mainly from Italy, Britain, France and Australia.

Unsurprisingly, 83% "were disappointed with the new format", dismissing it mainly because drivers had to lift off (the throttle) to save fuel. Ferrari added: "In addition, the fans don't like the noise from the new engines and are confused by rules that are too complicated."

The 'no' vote increased substantially after Mercedes' 1-2 in Malaysia.

'KARTS BEST FOR ACTION'

Hamilton suggested fans should be more patient and accept that other series such as karting, GP2 and MotoGP might have more thrills for those seeking out-and-out excitement.

"Karts are the best races to watch because you get to see such natural talent because everyone has the same car and similar engines and you get to watch a train go round, with overtaking from corner to corner," Hamilton said.

"Formula 1 is different. Different technology, different competition... we're in a period when technology is everything. Mercedes has developed better technology than everybody, has generally done a better job for 2014...

"Red Bull has had the best car overall but now it may change. That's a positive... it needs some time before you judge this season."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Bahrain GP this weekend.
NEXT ON WHEELS24X

The wheels that made 2017

2017-12-17 00:00
Read more on:    mercedes  |  ferrari  |  2014 bahrain gp  |  hamilton  |  bahrain  |  racing  |  f1  |  motorsport

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.