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Tires causing loss of “pure speed racing” says Hamilton

Mar 30, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton believes that the new Pirelli tires are causing Formula One drivers to think more about strategy than actually racing.

“These tires make it very hard,” said Hamilton in an interview. “It’s very difficult to make them last and particularly for me in Malaysia, I wasn’t really able to make my tires last as much as I wanted.

“Generally these tires make it not fun, I didn’t enjoy the race.”

Like many of the leading drivers, Hamilton stopped four times during the race, but the strategies chosen by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber proved there was little difference between the performance of the medium and hard compound tire.

Hamilton would like to see a return to “pure speed racing” where the drivers can run at their optimum pace for longer stints of the race.

“It’s not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tires that would last.

“It’s like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different. It’s more strategic rather than pure speed racing.”

There appears to be a split in the paddock over the new tires, with Lotus backing Pirelli over the matter, whilst Red Bull have also spoken out against the 2013 compounds. Without competition in Formula One, Pirelli could be accused of making a tire which is ‘bad enough’ to warrant multiple pit stops.

  1. britguyabroad - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I agree with Lewis, the strategy part of F1 is certainly interesting, but you want to see the drivers race at the extremes. This would favor the better out and out drivers.

  2. apexassassin - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I hate to agree with Lewis and Lauda and Berger, but I do. These tyres are hindering F1. They do nothing to showcase the drivers racing ability or the multimillion dollar cars, which is what we’re all watching to see.

    Driving at 60% and babysitting tires is fine for other categories, but this is F1. Faster IS better.

  3. markdartj - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    This tire situation is stupid. This is a sport where everything is optimized towards perfection, even the drivers; yet the idiotic decision to intentionally make a crappy tire negates everything else they are trying to accomplish.

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