Hamilton blasts ‘broken’ F1 and Halo system

The Mercedes star believes that tinkering with the qualifying format, which has caused splits in the paddock and amongst fans as the world championship tries to boost its appeal, is detrimental to the sport.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes GP during day three of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona: Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton blasted Formula One as “broken” and “lacking in direction” as the sport’s bosses debate a range of changes to regulations.

The Mercedes star believes that tinkering with the qualifying format, which has caused splits in the paddock and amongst fans as the world championship tries to boost its appeal, is detrimental to the sport.

The autosport.com website and BBC reported that when asked if Formula One is “broken, lacking direction, or in rude health?” Hamilton responded: “I would probably say the first two you suggested.”

But Hamilton then added: “I don’t want to say too much, but I do agree with the first two things you said.”

The Briton, speaking on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, also took aim at the new cockpit safety system, known as the “Halo“.

The three-pointed carbon structure is placed at the front of the car and is intended to prevent more driver fatalities.





The Halo was tried on track by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday.

Demands to increase driver safety have intensified following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson last year.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg hailed the device as a “massive safety improvement“.

However, the father of former F1 driver Bianchi, who died after colliding with a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014, claimed the new measures don’t go far enough.

“This is a step forward, but it does not solve everything,” Philippe Bianchi told Canal Plus.

“In the case of Jules it would not have changed since it was the extremely violent deceleration that we know caused the damage to his brain.

>READ: Safety 'Halo' meets mixed response

“The version of this Halo system I saw this morning did not convince me and still needs to be improved.”

Raikkonen used the structure on his installation lap on the third day of the second pre-season test in Barcelona before going on to set the fastest time of the winter once it was removed.

The Halo won’t be used for the upcoming season which starts at the Australian Grand Prix on March 20, but a meeting of the F1 Commission last week approved measures aimed at introducing it for the 2017 season.