Lewis Hamilton: F1 Will Be More Competitive In 2017

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during practice for the 2014 U.S. Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during practice for the 2014 U.S. Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Lewis Hamilton plans to enjoy his success in the 2016 Formula One season, as he thinks impending rule changes will make next year more competitive.

Lewis Hamilton is used to being on top of the Formula One world, but with major rules changes on the way for 2017, he’s not expecting to stay there.

More from Formula One

Hamilton and his Mercedes crew have to make the most of this season, he said during a recent conversation with Sky Sports when asked if the rule changes might shake up the F1 running order:

"That definitely is a very good possibility [of the pack being shuffled] but that puts even more emphasis on making sure that we utilize this. If it is the last year I want to make sure that I maximize on it so there’s no short cuts and there’s no rest really during the year.But you’ve got to enjoy it as well. It’s my 31st year in my life but it’s my ninth year [in F1].  And I’m enjoying driving more than ever so it’s really important to enjoy it because it’s going quick."

Massive overhauls are coming in terms of aerodynamics and tire size, leading many to speculate the 2017 F1 car could be the fastest teams and fans have ever seen. And could that lead to a new championship team?

Mercedes have sat atop the mountain since the sport’s last rules overhaul in 2014, when V6 hybrid engines were introduced to the sport. Hamilton is looking to repeat as world champion this year, while teammate Nico Rosberg is aiming for his first title.

Hamilton currently has a 19-point advantage over Rosberg, while as a team, Mercedes are looking to complete a constructors’ championship hat trick.

Hamilton’s comments this week come with an extra bit of wisdom. He’s personally experienced what rule changes can bring to the sport on multiple occasions.

After capturing his inaugural world championship with McLaren in 2008, Hamilton’s title defense was nearly over before it began thanks to changes in regulations with aerodynamics for the 2009 season, causing his team to be surpassed in terms of development by Red Bull and Brawn.

In 2013, Hamilton landed at Mercedes and was on the other side of the story, surpassing the four-time champion Red Bull team during his first year behind the wheel of a Silver Arrow with the power of the hybrid engine behind him.

Knowing that the rules changes are ahead some teams, while still focused on the current campaign, have shifted the majority of their attention to developing their 2017 cars. And Hamilton is aware that could mean a major difference in competition.

“Next year is going to be interesting,” Hamilton told SkySports. “I think we’ve got a great team and we’ll continue it but it’s a race of who started first and maybe someone started first and hasn’t done a good enough job…I hope we are still in the battle, I’m sure we will [be].”