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Hamilton wants better Pirelli tyres that appeal to F1 fans

Hamilton wants better Pirelli tyres that appeal to F1 fans
Co-author: Alex Kalinauckas

Lewis Hamilton believes that Formula 1 fans don’t want to see tyre management races and has called on Pirelli to develop a product that drivers can race with in 2022.

The Mercedes driver scored his fourth win of the season in commanding fashion in the Spanish GP, staying well clear of pursuer Max Verstappen and putting his team’s Silverstone tyre frustrations behind him.

Although known as a master of tyre management, Hamilton admitted after the race that he doesn’t really enjoy that kind of racing.

Last year he made his feelings on tyres clear when he represented the drivers at one of several meetings where the future of the sport was discussed. However, Pirelli’s efforts to meet the requirements of the 2020 target letter, which specifies what the main stakeholders want from the tyres, were rejected by the teams.

Instead the 2019 tyres were kept on for another season, and with the move to the new 18-inch format now postponed until 2022, the same tyres will also be used in 2021.

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Hamilton hopes that when the new size comes in Pirelli makes a tyre that the drivers can race hard with.

“We really need to put a lot of pressure on Pirelli for the future,” he said. “They didn't, unfortunately, do a great job with a tyre at the end of last year, to develop the 2020 tyre. And so we had to carry over the same tyre from 2019 into this season.

“In the past when they made the target letter, the drivers were not a part of that discussion. And so that's why last year I went to the meeting in Paris, as part of representing the drivers. We want to help them make sure that they set the target letter correctly. It's not been done right for a long time.

“Moving forwards, they're probably not going to be able to do it for next year, but for 2022 we need a better tyre, we need a tyre that gives us more grip, better safety, and enables us to to drive closer to cars and give you guys and the fans better racing.

“Right now, we're [doing] a serious amount of management. And I don't think that's what the fans want. That's not what a racing driver wants, to have to manage it behind a car, multiple seconds behind, because the tyres are not good enough.

“And so we want to help Pirelli to make a better tyre, if they can. And that's obviously the question.”

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper