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Home » Sport » MotorSport

Lewis warning on start change

Lewis Hamilton reckons changes to start procedures, to be introduced at the Belgian GP, that place greater emphasis on drivers could have a big effect on the outcome of races.

This weekend's race at Spa will be the first at which the changes, announced by the FIA last month, will be imposed. The intention is to make drivers "solely responsible" for how they get off the line - that they can no longer adjust the car’s clutch bite point, in other words, or receive information that helps the getaway.

Attentions are bound to be focused on Hamilton given his tardiness off the line in recent races. Despite starting from pole in both Austria and Hungary, he lost out at the lights and while the world champion eventually won his home race, he was passed by both Williams cars into the first corner at Silverstone.

"The formation start was good, the second one wasn't," Hamilton told The Guardian after the Hungarian GP, where he fell to fourth place at the start. "I imagine there's going to be a lot of that.

"It would have been a different race on Sunday if I'd had a good start but it wasn't the case and how I reacted was not the correct way, especially when I know better."

Hamilton was referring to his failed attempts to subsequently make up ground in Budapest: an aborted attempt to get back past Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on lap one which instead resulted in trip across the gravel, and a collision with Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull for which he was handed a drive-through penalty.

Even so, he eventually finished sixth and even managed to increase his world championship lead over Rosberg to 21 points after he in turn came home eighth.

"It made the race exciting," Hamilton acknowledged. "What goes on from after this race is going to be very interesting. I think they might underestimate how much they influence the races. The starts might not change or they might be disastrous. It could make more weaving, who knows?

"They might need to make changes to it. My guess is that it is not going to be the right thing and it is going to be adjusted. It is a good idea, though."

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