Lewis Hamilton has called on the FIA to introduce a rule that binds teams to a fixed starting date to produce their cars for the following year.

Red Bull is set to dial back the development of its 2023 car amid its dominant start to the campaign.

The Milton Keynes-based squad has taken all eight grand prix wins on offer this year and leads the Constructors’ Championship by 154 points over Mercedes.

Its buffer this year allows it to spend more time on its 2024 car, increasing the likelihood that it will once again begin the new campaign at the head of the field.

But Hamilton says a starting date for development should be introduced to boost the prospect of a more level playing field.

“I think we have a step coming,” Hamilton said, referring to Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrade. “It’s, I’d say, similar to the last step we took so just small steps in the right direction. 

“But the great thing is that we have steps coming, that’s the one really really important thing to look at. The car is moving in the right direction. 

“It’s likely that bit by bit, by the end of the year, we will catch Red Bull. But that’s only because they’re already focusing on next year’s car because they’re so far ahead. 

“They don’t have to make any changes to their car anymore because they’re so far ahead. They’re cruising at 100 points ahead of us. 

“I think the FIA should probably put a time when everyone is allowed to start developing for next year’s car. ‘August 1st, that’s when everyone can start’. 

“Then no one can get an advantage for next year, because that sucks.

“Say for example, you start the season and you know you have a bad car. You say ‘I’m not going to bother developing this car’, you put all this money into next year’s car and have an advantage.”

New development regulations mean that Red Bull has less wind tunnel time compared to other teams due to winning last year’s Constructors’ Championship.

In addition, it was stripped another 10 per cent of testing time due to overspending the budget cap during the 2021 season.

Hamilton asserted that he doesn’t think the penalty will impact Red Bull regardless, insisting that “it was so small”.

Mercedes was once in a similar position to Red Bull’s current form – but Hamilton asserts that his team never started development on its future car as early as its rivals. 

“We never started as early as them [Red Bull],” Hamilton said. “But it needs to change, because that’s why you have dominance for so long. 

“They keep allowing it to happen. When Ferrari was ahead, that’s the same thing that happened. 

“When Red Bull was ahead with Seb[astian Vettel] back in the day, they could start earlier so they were always ahead.”

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