Lewis Hamilton fears that Formula 1's faster cars in 2017 will not bring back the thrills for drivers, as there will still have to be too much tyre and fuel saving.
As Fernando Alonso reiterated ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that a decision about his future in F1 beyond next year will depend on how much he enjoys the cars, Hamilton expressed reservations that the Spaniard will get what he wants.
“Fernando is one of the best drivers we have here, but has had an incredibly challenging few years with an uncompetitive car - knowing in himself he could be fighting for a championship if he sat alongside me [at Mercedes],” explained Hamilton.
“[As drivers] we slow down as soon as we have done the start. Generally we are not pushing 100 percent like they used to do. It was a more extreme race back in the day - it was a sprint.
“From go-karts, that is what it was from the get go. It was a sprint from the off, F1 is not like that any more. It is about conserving tyres and batteries, and that is not what people want to see.
“Next year the cars will still be very heavy. They will have great grip, and still be faster, but they will have the same characteristics as this year. I think we will still drive the same: save fuel, save tyres, do the same thing."
Alonso 'lucky' to drive in V10 era
Alonso told Motorsport.com earlier this month that a decision about staying in F1 for 2018 would rest wholly on how much he enjoyed driving F1 cars – and he could even retire as champion if he was not having a good time.
Asked again about the topic at Spa, Alonso said: “I think in the last couple of years in the turbo era, the cars are different to drive. I don't say better or worse, [because] everyone can have an opinion.
“But I was lucky to drive the 2004/2005 car, and even in 2009 they were more extreme F1 cars. When I see a GP2 cars three seconds slower than FP1, I feel a bit sad.
“The cars are heavy, [have] no grip, we save fuel, tyres, everything from lap one. So it is against the instinct of drivers.
“Next year is a question mark, and next year if the cars are fun to drive and exciting to drive, I will probably stay longer and drive more years in F1.
“If the cars still give me the feeling of the last few years, I will stop.”