Lewis Hamilton feels “another solution” could be needed to ensure that the typical field spread under new regulations, as was seen again in the ground effect era, does not last for as long.

While regulatory changes carry the excitement of potential major shifts in the pecking order, that generally comes with the caveat of the converging grid spreading out again, as was the case in Red Bull’s dominant start to F1’s ground effect era in 2022, with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes only now reeling them in.

Lewis Hamilton wants faster F1 grid conversion

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

The regulations will change again in time for F1 2026, both on the chassis and power unit front, meaning it is possible that the gaps between the teams will grow again.

Hamilton therefore would like to see a method introduced to reduce the time it takes for the grid to then converge again.

“I think if we look at the past, we would say that you would have such a long period of dominance that you’d want to change to spark some change,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com.

“I think we’re now finally in a really exciting part of this season where the top five particularly are so close. And that’s what you want to see from the beginning.

“And obviously 2026 it will spice it all over again. And then it’s just a catch-up game for those that don’t hit targets and do as well as others.

“So maybe you need to look at another solution of how you level the playing field somehow through that phase quicker.

“So obviously, teams further at the back have more windtunnel time. I don’t know what the solution is, but is there a way of somehow helping the ones further back level off earlier? So it’s not towards an end of a design era for example.

“But I think it will be really interesting. If 2026 does exactly the same thing as it always has done, then they do need to probably revisit and look at something else.”

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Alongside the budget cap, another method of levelling the playing field in Formula 1 is the sliding scale on allotted windtunnel time, affording those finishing further down the Constructors’ Championship order more.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell though proposes that this system works based on points, rather than Constructors’ Championship positions, to allow teams that fall behind to catch up quicker.

“I think the windtunnel thing is really good, but it’s based on positions at the moment, rather than points you’ve got,” he told media including PlanetF1.com.

“Red Bull have been double the amount of points than the second place team in the Constructors’, and they get the same difference in windtunnel reduction as second and third get in the windtunnel.

“Mercedes to Ferrari last year, there was only three points difference, so maybe if it’s based on the number of points scored rather than actual position in the championship, that would help the team to catch up quicker.”

Russell scored Mercedes’ second victory under the ground effect regulations by winning the Austrian Grand Prix.

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