Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the recent banning of engine 'party modes' in qualifying, saying he found it amusing that Red Bull admitted to being the team pushing for the ban.
The qualifying ban is set to come into effect at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, which will see teams unable to use special qualifying modes on their cars during the session, taking away the advantage from different power units.
Speaking in the drivers' press conference on Thursday, Hamilton explained how he found the decision amusing, as well as hoping that it will not affect Mercedes in the long term.
“I find it kind of amusing, because the FIA said that it was so they could manage everyone’s usage of the engine, or something like that, and then Red Bull came and said ‘we were the ones pushing for it’. So there’s completely different reasons why they did it,” Hamilton said.
“Hopefully the guys back in the factory are looking at is as a compliment that they’ve done just a fantastic job with the engine. We will continue to work and improve with the situation that we’re given. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”
“Everyone’s potentially going to lose something but maybe some more than others. No one particularly knows, I think. But I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for us.”
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen also spoke on the ban, saying that he enjoys being able to manage the engine performance in the session, but the ban will give the team 'one less worry' in terms of reliability.
“I like, personally, being able to control when you use some of the life of the engine and when you save it,” he said.
“That’s kind of been a strength of mine in terms of saving engine mileage through the year, making the engine last longer.
“If they take that away it means we have to worry less about switching over to anything else.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing