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'Party mode' ban "obviously to slow us down" - Hamilton

'Party mode' ban "obviously to slow us down" - Hamilton

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'Party mode' ban "obviously to slow us down" - Hamilton

'Party mode' ban "obviously to slow us down" - Hamilton

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is convinced the ban on engine 'qualifying modes' is a deliberate move to slow Mercedes down.

Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have shared the five pole positions of 2020 between themselves so far, with Hamilton leading his team-mate three-two on Saturday performance.

Across the five Q3 sessions, Mercedes have topped the order by an average of 0.927 seconds from the first non-Mercedes driver.

On Thursday, it was revealed the Formula 1 will be banning qualifying engine modes, although it is unclear whether this will take effect from the Belgium Grand Prix or the start of 2021.

When asked about any concerns of this affecting his season in a big way, Hamilton calmly rejected the idea of it slowing Mercedes down compared to other constructors.

"It is obviously to slow us down but I don't think it will get the result they want," the six-time world champion said on Thursday ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. "So, it’s totally fine if they do it.

"They're always trying to slow us down but it doesn't change a huge amount for us."

Max Verstappen took victory last time out at Silverstone and Hamilton predicts the remainder of the season will be 'interesting', even if Mercedes is able to keep it's 'party mode' throughout.

He added: "If he didn’t have a reliability issue in the first race, he would only be 12 points behind, so the car’s not bad like people have been talking.

“And they’re talking about clipping engine strats and all these things to try and slow us down, so it’s going to be interesting over these next couple of months, but we’re prepared in the best way we can be.”

Qualifying modes are nothing new in F1, but Mercedes took the concept to new levels with the introduction of the turbo hybrid power units in 2014.

With the rest of the field playing catchup seven years, Mercedes is still thought to have the most effective of 'party mode', but Bottas jumped added that Mercedes are not the only team who run special engine modes.

Bottas said: "The first thing that came to my mind was that in races every team has different modes how much they want to risk [the power unit].

"If there was the same engine mode for everyone there could be less overtaking because everyone is just running same modes rather than playing with them and sometimes using more or less power."

Before you go...

Vettel confident he will see out 2020 season at Ferrari despite early-season struggles

Ricciardo admits he would be "disappointed" to end 2020 without silverware

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