Lewis Hamilton accuses F1 chiefs of deliberately tinkering with rules to make races interesting amid Mercedes dominance
LEWIS HAMILTON has accused F1's governing body, the FIA, of tinkering with the rules deliberately to keep the sport interesting.
Hamilton has dominated this season, with six wins, eight pole positions and eight podiums in just 10 races.
His impressive run has put him 44-points ahead of his rivals in the championship.
But after being heavily penalised in the Italian and Russian GPs with 10-second time penalties, plus the FIA's decision to ban engine qualifying modes to limit his Mercedes' power, Hamilton says they are interfering too much.
When asked by SunSport if he felt he was being targeted, Hamilton said: "I don't necessarily think that it's for me.
"I think probably most teams, whenever a team is at the front, obviously they are doing a lot of scrutiny.
"Everything we have on our car is being checked, and double-checked and triple-checked.
"They are changing rules, such as the engine regs, lots of lots of things to get in the way to keep the racing exciting, I assume.
"I don't know if the rules, in terms of what happened [in Russia], was anything to do with it but naturally that's how it feels.
"It feels like we're fighting uphill, but it's OK. It's not like I haven't faced adversity before.
"So we just keep our heads down and keep fighting and keep trying to do a better job and be cleaner and squeaky clean."
The 10 second combined time penalties in Sochi stopped Hamilton from equalling Michael Schumacher's record of 91 wins in F1.
However, Hamilton later had the two penalty points expunged from his licence, moving him further away from picking up a one-race ban.
The penalty in Russia related to his practice starts on the way to the grid, where his Mercedes team gave him the green light to do so.
However, Merc's trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, said he feared the FIA would punish Hamilton after admitting they did not realise just how far up the pitlane Hamilton had travelled to practice his starts.
Instead of the penalty points being applied to Hamilton's licence, Merc were hit with a £23,000 fine.
Speaking after the race, Shovlin said: "Lewis asked if he could go a bit further, we hadn't realised quite how far he was going to go.
"We didn't see the first one. When we saw the second one we thought 'they're not going to like that'.
"We didn't think it was dangerous and, given that the event notes said that it was on the right-hand side after the pit exit, we thought it might have been ambiguous enough that we would have just got a telling-off.
"But when we saw the car position, it wasn't a complete surprise that they didn't like it."
Meanwhile, the FIA's Race Director, Michael Masi says he is open for a discussion with Hamilton if the world champion senses there is an issue.
He said: "From my perspective it's very simple that if Lewis wants to raise something, as I have said to him before, and said to all the drivers, numerous times the door is always open.
"I'm more than happy to discuss anything but I think from an FIA perspective, we are there as a sporting regulator, to administer the regulations.
"We have the stewards as an independent judiciary to adjudicate those, and therefore there was an infringement and it doesn't matter if it was Lewis or any other one of the 19 drivers.
"If a breach has occurred of the regulations, they will consider it on its merits, adjudicate it equitably and fairly in the circumstances taking all the key elements into account."
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