May 7, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT
Lewis Hamilton says modern Formula One tracks don’t punish drivers for making mistakes.
Astroturf [artificial grass] and tarmac run-offs have replaced grass and gravel traps at many circuits. The 2008 world champion says that means drivers are getting away with mistakes which would have cost them dearly in years gone by.
“If you watch Sebastian Vettel now he always runs over the Astroturf and over the curb a little more than he should, going beyond the white line, which you’re not actually allowed to do but they let you get away with it,” Hamilton explained to the Daily Mail.
“In Senna’s day, if he went one foot over that curb, it would be grass and he would spin, and be penalized. He would be right on the limit, rather than over the limit — and I respect that style of driving more.
“Now you can go beyond and get back because modern tracks have run-off areas. They used to be gravel. Hit that, and your car was damaged or stuck. Now you can push beyond, go wide and come back on.”
“When you do and get away with it, you think, ‘Great’, but the reason I love street circuits like Monaco is there is no room for error and if you make a mistake, you pay. I don’t want people to pay by being hurt, but losing time, or having the car stop; that’s what racing is about.”
However Hamilton discovered just how punishing artificial run-off areas can be during last year’s Korean Grand Prix when a loose piece of Astroturf became attached to his car, slowing him down.
- Indiana native Bryan Clauson ready for special Indy 500 return 1
- On eve of 300th IndyCar start, Helio Castroneves eyes record-tying fourth Indy 500 win 1
- Alex Tagliani to drive 3rd AJ Foyt car in Indy 500, will pay tribute to Dan Gurney 2
- NHRA legend John Force turns 66, not slowing down any time soon 1
- Montoya fastest on opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice 2
- Indy 500 refresher running, RoP gets underway today at IMS 0
- Chevrolet reveals its super speedway aero kit 2