Hamilton defends new-look F1
Lewis Hamilton has hit back at the critics who have already labelled the latest version of Formula One as boring.
Just two races into the new campaign, and with Mercedes winning both the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix at a canter, the sport's naysayers have been lining up to take pot-shots.
The advent of new technology in the form of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units has shaken up the grid to some extent, with Red Bull on the back foot after winning the last four world titles.
Apparently, F1's latest crisis is to lead to talks between supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Ferrari's president Luca Di Montezemolo and FIA president Jean Todt in Bahrain this weekend ahead of Sunday's race.
Ecclestone and Di Montezemolo now have ammunition from the all-important fans following a poll conducted on Ferrari's website, with over 50,000 expressing an opinion.
The results have delivered an overwhelmingly negative reaction, with 83 per cent disappointed with the new format, dismissing it mainly because of the drivers being forced to lift off to save fuel.
In addition, the fans are against the quieter noise of the new power units, whilst they are also confused by rules they claim are now too complicated.
Ferrari claim the 'no' vote increased dramatically after the race in Malaysia, with the most vociferous in their opinions being those from Italy, Britain, France and Australia.
Yet Hamilton, who triumphed in Malaysia, said: "I think given the nature of the sport, Di Montezemolo didn't say a thing when Michael (Schumacher) won those five world championships (in a row from 2000-2004).
"It's the same when McLaren won all their championships that they didn't say anything, and the same with Red Bull when they won, they weren't saying anything.
"It changes every year. Someone else gets in the lead and they'll say something. It's the nature of the game."
Hamilton appreciates F1 may lack the excitement of other motor sport series, but then it has often been that way given the high levels of technology involved.
"Of course, on one hand, you want to be winning races, getting pole positions, but as a Formula One fan and a racing fan, the great races are in GP2 and go-karts," assessed Hamilton.
"Go-karts are the best races to watch because you get to see such natural talent, with everyone in the same karts and with similar engines.
"You get to watch a train go round, with overtaking from corner to corner, and that is the greatest racing to watch. MotoGP is pretty good as well actually.
"But Formula One is different. It has different technology, is a different competition.
"We're in a period of time when technology is everything, and the fact Mercedes have developed better technology than everyone, have generally done a better job this year.
"Red Bull have previously had the best car overall, but it looks like it may change this year and that's a positive.
"Of course, if you watch Formula One you want to see overtaking, and every year they are trying to do that, like they took downforce away for instance.
"It needs some time before you judge this season."
Sergio Perez on Thursday suggested F1 was "boring" after he watched the race in Malaysia from Force India's paddock building following a gearbox failure on his car prior to the start.
The Mexican claims it has now become difficult to follow another car given the level of sliding around due to the lack of downforce and on degrading tyres, with his main gripe being the lack of pace.
The latter point is double world champion Fernando Alonso's biggest bugbear as he said: "It is still exciting because at the end of the day you are competing against the others.
"That is the DNA of the driver, the competition. If we drive go-karts we enjoy that even though we are driving at 50 kilometres per hour with very hard tyres and sliding everywhere.
"So it is not a problem of excitement, it is just the cars are too slow.
"The fastest lap in Malaysia was the one minute 34.8 seconds from (Sebastian) Vettel a few years ago, yet Hamilton did a one minute 43, so that's nine seconds.
"Behind the wheel, when you drive nine seconds slower, you don't enjoy it as much as driving a fast car."