Lewis Hamilton feels Formula 1 racing has been reined in by the current generation of tyres and rules which has denied “out-and-out hard racing” but remains hopeful for changes in 2019.

The reigning F1 world champion says race strategy often comes down to maximising tyre life over car or driver performance while the 2018 Pirelli tyres thought to be overly sensitive to temperature changes.

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

As was frequently seen in 2018, drivers preserving tyre life could stick to the quicker one-stop strategy – which ultimately would limit race strategy options – and at some races certain tyre compounds were durable enough to last a full race if maintained.

Hamilton feels this collective impact influences the way F1 races develop and deny the opportunity for all-out attack in normal circumstances.

“Sometimes we could do the whole race distance on the same tyre before the tyre falls apart,” Hamilton said in Abu Dhabi. “But I am always cautious when they say you could do the whole race distance without stopping in the race.

“I don’t know how it has been for everyone else but there have not been a lot of races where you have been able to push to the maximum. There is so much lift and coast because the tyres overheat the whole time.

“So you are not seeing out-and-out hard racing on the tyres but that’s been the name of the game for a long, long time with the tyres we have.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel echoed his comments after the Abu Dhabi race, having briefly been stuck behind Valtteri Bottas, having to balance racing and managing his tyre life.

“Especially when you are following anther car I was struggling to stay close to Valtteri,” Vettel added. “In the end it allowed me to get significantly closer and into the tow but we know that it is not an easy track to overtake so it is crucial to keep the tyres up as they are sensitive.”

Following requests from F1, Pirelli will simplify its tyre range for 2019 by retaining three names and colours – hard (white), medium (yellow) and soft (red) – for every race weekend with the compound specification selected by the Italian tyre manufacturer.

Pirelli will also narrow its tyre specification range from seven to six compounds with the goal to have a clearer performance and lap time gap between each compound for the new F1 season.

Comments

Loading Comments...