Lewis Hamilton concedes he does not have “a lot of good things to say” about Pirelli’s 2019 Formula 1 tyres, and believes the new compounds will prove “challenging”. 

Pirelli has made tweaks to its rubber for the upcoming campaign, including introducing the thinner-gauge tyres that were used in three races last year in a bid to ease concerns about overheating and blistering, while it has also revised its coding system. 

But Hamilton, who shared a video on social media of his dog Roscoe playing with a tyre during the second week of pre-season testing, feels the changes have ultimately resulted in compounds which are now “too hard”. 

Valtteri Bottas F1 Driver Profile - Mercedes

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“Roscoe didn’t like them - he said they were too hard,” Hamilton said. 

“I thought the same, that’s why I said he concurs with me, they’re a little bit hard. I don’t really have a lot of good things to say about that so it’s best that I probably don’t say anything. 

“I think as we get into the year it’s going to be a challenge. They’re more challenging this year than they were last.” 

Hamilton said Pirelli should have continued to stick with its thinner-gauge tyres it used for selected rounds in 2018, though the Italian manufacturer insists it has done just that. 

“I think last year we had a tyre that was just OK, then we had the lower-gauge tyre - we had it somewhere like France and Silverstone - and that was a pretty good tyre,” Hamilton added. 

“The simplest thing they could have done is just bring that to this year and they didn’t, they did something else.” 

Hamilton also believes Pirelli’s new identification system - a move to try and simplify its compound choices - has actually made things “more confusing” than its previous colour-based coding format. 

“We have all these different names of tyre - C5, C4, C3, C2, C1 - which for me personally is more confusing than all the colours we had,” Hamilton said. “But we’ll get used to it and it will be the norm. 

“Valtteri [Bottas] seems like he’s enjoying driving the tyres out there and I’ll get a bit of a better feel for what the tyres are like. 

“We’ve been driving on more fuel so it’s never a good feeling generally in any year when you’ve got more fuel on board. We’re all in the same boat and I’ll try to understand them the best I can.”

 

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