Hamilton rule change idea ‘hard to police’ – Horner

Christian Horner has responded to an idea from Lewis Hamilton on how to possibly end dominance in F1

Christian Horner has responded to an idea from Lewis Hamilton on how to possibly end dominance in F1 – Image: Russell Batchelor/XPB

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels Lewis Hamilton’s suggestion as to how to end the dominance of a team in F1 at any given time would be “hard to police”.

Seven-time F1 champion Hamilton suggested a new rule should be introduced whereby no team could start development on its car for the following season until a certain date in a year, offering August 1, as an example.

Hamilton made clear that when a team is dominant, it is afforded the opportunity to start development on its next car earlier than most, allowing it to retain its advantage for the following season.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen are currently enjoying such a period of supremacy, with the team winning 25 of the 30 races to date in the current aerodynamic era, and with the Dutchman 21 of those.

“He’s obviously talking from personal experience,” quipped Horner initially, with obvious reference to how Mercedes dominated after the introduction of the current turbo-hybrid power unit era in 2014.

Addressing the matter more seriously, Horner then poured cold water on Hamilton’s idea. He added: “I think it would be an incredibly hard thing to police.

“How on earth could you say, ‘Right, first of August – go’? How do you prevent people from thinking about, or working on next year’s car?”

Referring to the sliding scale of wind tunnel and CFD time that is allowed depending on how successful a team is in the preceding year, Horner said: “We have a handicap system in Formula 1 through the reduction of wind tunnel time.

“Franz (Tost, AlphaTauri team principal) has almost double the amount of time we have. That is a significant handicap.

“Aston Martin will start to feel that as it’s reset at the midpoint of the year.

“And for us, we have to pick and choose very, very sparingly what we are going to commit to putting through the wind tunnel, so it will have an effect. That system didn’t exist years ago, so we will see that playing out.

“And I think the most important thing, and the history of Formula 1 demonstrates it, is stability. Not messing with the regulations will always create convergence. It’s just a matter of time.

“You can see that convergence is already starting to happen. By the time we get to the end of ’25, probably all the teams will be very converged.”

With new power unit regulations coming into force the following year, Horner signed off by saying: “And then we screw it all up and go again in ’26.”

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