Track walks make "zero difference" for Hamilton

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Track walks make
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Jun 16, 2016, 3:34 PM

Lewis Hamilton has reiterated his belief that the Baku circuit is not very challenging, but admits that he will only find out when he drives his Mercedes W07 around in first practice.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 walks the circuit with the team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 walks the circuit with the team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team and Esteban Ocon, Renault Sport F1 Team Test Driver walk the circuit with the team
Felipe Massa, Williams walks the circuit with the team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team and Esteban Ocon, Renault Sport F1 Team Test Driver walk the circuit with the team
Rio Haryanto, Manor Racing walks the circuit with the team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Hamilton has continued with his policy of not doing track walks, so he won't actually see Baku's corners until he's in the car on Friday.

He did only eight laps in the Mercedes simulator before the Canadian Grand Prix.

"I will find out tomorrow," he said when asked for his first impressions. "In the simulator it was very easy, but the simulator is not very good. It's a very bad computer game basically, it doesn't say much.

"I've not driven the track, so I can't tell you. I don't know if it's bumpy, I don't know if it's smooth, I don't know if it's difficult for braking, the kerbs are harsh, I don't know anything.

"It's just a layout on the track so I know which way it goes at least. Tomorrow after the first few laps I'm pretty sure I'll know if it's difficult or not."

Hamilton made it clear that he sees no value in the Thursday track walks that most other drivers conduct with their race engineers.

"There's different approaches. I was thinking of riding a bicycle around tonight, which I might do, but I quite like the idea of going out tomorrow for the first time.

"I'm kind of excited about that. I've walked around circuits from Formula Renault to probably my third or fourth year in F1. It makes zero difference to my weekend performance.

"I've not walked a track since 2010, and it makes zero difference. Walking around the track or riding around the track you might see a kerb, but it looks a lot different when you're driving around it. It might work for others, but for me it doesn't.

"I will go around tomorrow, and that first lap is like you're taking pictures with your mind, and you're learning as you go around."

Hamilton said the only corner he has seen is Turn 16, which he viewed was from his hotel window.

Ironically on a day when the likes of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg were casting serious doubts about run-off areas Hamilton complained that they were too big.

"I arrived and looked out of my window, and [could see] just one corner, Turn 16, and I just think it's too big a run-off area.

"There's a white line and then there's probably 10 metres to the wall on the left. I don't design the tracks, but I like Monaco, it had hardly any run-off areas, only in the areas where we really, really need it.

"But I can tell tomorrow we're going to go round Turn 16, we're going to drive off, and come back on."

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