Lewis Hamilton believes there is scope for Formula 1 to get “more creative” with its double-header format to make races more exciting.

F1 had proposed shaking up the format for the second round of double-header events by running a reverse grid sprint race on Saturday to determine the grid for the main grand prix, instead of holding its traditional qualifying session. The idea was ultimately rejected after Mercedes opposed the plan.

After the opening 10 rounds of the 2020 season were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delayed campaign finally kicked kicked off with back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring, with Mercedes claiming victories in both events.

Asked if he believes F1 has missed an opportunity to experiment and try something different, Hamilton replied: “I’ve not watched the races so it’s difficult to have the same perspective as you will because we’re in this bubble, it’s a bit of a different viewpoint.

“I definitely think we should be trying to be more creative maybe, but I don’t know what that is - I don’t have the answers for it.”

In F1 and the FIA’s bid to add interest to the upcoming Silverstone double-header, Pirelli will switch tyre compounds for the second race. The C1, C2 and C3 combination will be used for the British Grand Prix, before moving a step softer for the 70th Anniversary event the following weekend with C2, C3 and C4s.

But Hamilton doubts the change will be enough on its own to have the desired effect.

“Just shifting a tyre is not going to make any difference, literally no difference really for us,” he explained.

“It’s a question of format: if you’re going to do back-to-back, it’s a shame we can’t reverse the circuit and go the other way but obviously that was never in the game plan when designing these circuits, so… Reverse of grid?

“I think it would just be mayhem, if we qualified at the front and then you put us last it would be a bit of a difficult one and we would probably just end up not trying to qualify for the front so, it is a difficult one.

“I wonder if there are other series that are doing anything different that we could look into. We have these two races in Silverstone and we could definitely do something to spice it up, particularly for the second one I think.”

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas believes the format for the first double-header of the season worked well without any tweaks.

“I think we saw two different races even though it is the same place,” Bottas said.

“Obviously the weather played a part and mixed things up a bit yesterday and it was a completely different kind of race weekend even though it was the same format, the same track.

“I think that’s the beauty of the sport, there are always so many unknowns and so many things that can happen, so for me it’s not really a big issue.

“But, I agree with Lewis, I think we could be creative, it just needs to be done in the right way. I don’t know what’s the right way but I know Silverstone has lots of track layout options but who knows.”

Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, added: “I don’t really think there’s a lot of option to play with because simply I don’t think they allow us to use softer tyres for safety reasons.

“I don’t know really what you can do. They stopped about the reverse grid but yeah, it would have been a bit weird to know that if you retire in the first race as I had, then you start from pole in the second.

“I don’t know what you can do and I honestly think it’s fine. It’s more important that we are racing.”

 

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