Hamilton: Traffic in final part of Belgian GP qualifying dangerous

Lewis Hamilton says the slow speeds Formula 1 drivers needed to run at to prepare for their Belgian Grand Prix Q3 qualifying laps left them in a "dangerous" situation

Hamilton: Traffic in final part of Belgian GP qualifying dangerous

A number of cars bunched up ahead of the first runs in Q3, as drivers were eager to stay close to those in front of them so they could benefit from a tow, and keep their tyres in the right operating window.

Hamilton nearly ran into the back of team-mate Valtteri Bottas at one point as they slowed to avoid faster cars approaching them, while Bottas later locked up to avoid hitting Nico Hulkenberg.

"I think this year is definitely the slowest we have been, and today felt a little bit dangerous at one point because we were going around Turn 15 on the kerb and there was a car coming and I couldn't move," said Hamilton.

"I couldn't go on the grass. I was stuck behind Valtteri and Hulkenberg.

"I can imagine that if I was on a lap and I was coming around to find everyone crawling around at 5mph it would be a bit of a worry and a bit of a distraction.

"I am not really sure what we can do to stop it from happening. Maybe we have to be on the pitlane speed limiter or something like that.

"You should not be able to go at 5mph or 2mph or whatever... it was literally going as slow as possible to let people past.

"I did it in Austria I think to let everyone by because I was the first guy out there and the tow is so strong this year with these cars.

"They talk about the front wing being easy to follow but it has just caused a lot more drag, it is a draggier car this year so the tow is a lot more powerful than we have ever experienced."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel believed the situation was exacerbated because tyre temperatures are now critical to performance.

Asked if he felt new rules were needed to prevent this type of situation, Vettel said: "I am not in favour of any more rules, I think we have too many anyway.

"What we should change actually, and what we should take from this seriously is that tyre-wise, we should not be so much on the limit.

"Obviously you are fighting for a tow and so on, but you are also fighting to get into the optimum window which years ago it was not that critical whereas now it is.

"You are fighting for the best spot on the track, which will hit the peak in Monza for finding the right tow because it does make the difference, but that has always been part of those type of tracks.

"But I feel if we had better tyres, we could play with probably a bit more speed and so on."

shares
comments
Belgian GP: Leclerc takes dominant pole from Vettel, Hamilton third
Previous article

Belgian GP: Leclerc takes dominant pole from Vettel, Hamilton third

Next article

Leclerc asked Ferrari to drop slipstream plan in Spa F1 qualifying

Leclerc asked Ferrari to drop slipstream plan in Spa F1 qualifying
Load comments
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021