Engine mode change not a problem for Mercedes, says Hamilton

The governing FIA confirmed at the Spanish Grand Prix on Thursday that the 10 teams had been informed a change was being evaluated.

Lewis Hamilton is on course to match Michael Schumacher’s record haul of seven world championships this season.

Six-times Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton has shrugged off a plan to restrict cars' engine modes in qualifying, saying it will have little impact on slowing his dominant Mercedes team.

The governing FIA confirmed at the Spanish Grand Prix on Thursday that the 10 teams had been informed a change was being evaluated.

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A technical directive could take effect at the Belgian Grand Prix later in August.

The change would require teams to use the same engine modes in qualifying as in the race, where power is typically turned up to the maximum only in short bursts to preserve engine lifespan and reliability.

Mercedes, winners of the past six drivers' and constructors' titles, have started all five races so far this season from pole position.

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“I mean, its not a surprise. They're always trying to slow us down,” Hamilton, who has a 30 point lead in the championship over Red Bull's Max Verstappen, told reporters on a video conference at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

“But it doesn't really change a huge amount for us, so its not a problem.”

Mercedes also provides engines to Racing Point, who has emerged as highly competitive this season, and tail-enders Williams.

“The guys at our team have just done such a great job with the engine,” said Hamilton, who has won three times this year and is only four wins away from equalling Michael Schumacher's record 91.

“Its obviously to slow us down but I don't think its going to get the result that they want. But thats totally fine if they do.”

Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas said Mercedes was not panicking and any change would be the same for everyone but might not be good for racing.

“Every team obviously they have different modes, how much they want to risk in terms of wearing the engine,” he added.

“Also in terms of strategic things... many times were using different kind of modes whether we are defending, attacking.

“From my side it feels like if it would be the same engine mode for everyone all through the race, there could be less overtaking because everyone is just running the same modes instead of playing with them.”