Baku F1 tyres make no sense, says Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was left bewildered by the tyre situation at Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, insisting the compounds brought to Baku by Pirelli are too hard

Baku F1 tyres make no sense, says Lewis Hamilton

Friday practice featured an abundance of incidents, as many drivers took to the track's run-off areas.

Hamilton, who languished in 10th after failing to get a lap together on the super-softs, believes the tyres were to blame for the number of errors.

"The grip is very bad. I think it's bad for everyone," Hamilton said.

"I think everyone is struggling to get the tyres working, the Red Bulls and the Ferraris perhaps less than some others, but everyone is struggling generally in the whole pitlane.

"These tyres are just so hard. They're too hard.

"You can't come to this incredibly warm place and have the track at 50 degrees, and these tyres still don't work, it doesn't make sense."

Asked whether the track was more difficult to drive in 2017 than it had been during last year's inaugural Baku race, Hamilton said: "Yeah. I think a lot of it is contributed by these tyres being a lot worse, in the sense that they're bigger, heavier, stiffer, harder.

"They just don't work a lot of the time.

"The track's 50 degrees and we've got the super-soft and the soft and neither of them work.

"It's almost like we have the hard and the extra-hard tyre here. Extra-hard's never even been made before, but it is the hard and the extra-hard, that's the compounds we have here."

He also suggested that the problems were compounded by tyres losing temperature as drivers navigated their way out of run-off areas.

"Generally what happens is: you run wide, it takes you ages to get into reverse, you reverse, by the time you've reversed and got it back into first gear and gone off, your tyres have dropped way, way out of the window," Hamilton said.

"So then you're tiptoeing around for the next two or three laps, just trying to get temperature back into the tyres.

"It's a nightmare."

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who finished the day a tenth off pacesetter Max Verstappen's Red Bull, echoed Hamilton's sentiments, saying he would have preferred to see the ultra-soft chosen for this weekend.

"With quite hard tyre compounds for this track, it's quite difficult," Bottas said.

"I'm sure everyone would take the ultra-soft if you could choose but those are the tyres for everyone.

"It'll be our job to make the most out of that."

shares
comments
Azerbaijan GP: Stroll's confidence transformed for practice – Massa
Previous article

Azerbaijan GP: Stroll's confidence transformed for practice – Massa

Next article

Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas believe Red Bull's Baku F1 pace is real

Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas believe Red Bull's Baku F1 pace is real
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023