US GP: Lewis Hamilton wants dirty side of grid cleaned for start

Lewis Hamilton has urged race officials to clean the grid for the United States Grand Prix over fears that those starting on the dirty side of the track will be hugely disadvantaged

US GP: Lewis Hamilton wants dirty side of grid cleaned for start

Hamilton was pole position man Sebastian Vettel's nearest challenge in qualifying at Austin, but him missing out on the top spot means he will start from the lesser-used left-hand-side of the grid.

A number of drivers had already expressed big concerns about how bad the grip levels would be on the new track, with some suggesting they could lose as many as four places on acceleration alone.

It is for this reason that Hamilton believes as much as possible should be done to ensure parity for the drivers who have qualified at the rear of each row.

Speaking about a practice start he did from the dirty side of the grid on Saturday morning, Hamilton said: "It wasn't very good. It was really poor; I barely went anywhere when I let the clutch out.

"That is why I am saying they need to clean the inside because it is just as slippery as when we started driving yesterday.

"While the track is bedding-in now and getting much, much better, that part is untouched, so it is going to be very much the same as the pitlane, which has no grip at all.

"I don't know what they have got to do. But at least clean it."

Although Hamilton is convinced there is a disparity between the two sides of the grid, McLaren team-mate Jenson Button did a practice start from the right side of the start-finish line and is not as convinced.

"I am the only car who has done a start on the clean side of the grid and that wasn't good either. There is just such low grip," he said.

"On the straights we are not putting rubber down. We might be cleaning the circuit but there is no rubber down, so it is very, very slippery. And the slippiest part of the circuit is the pitlane.

"You come out of the pitlane and in qualifying it is the first time we have run with 100kph limit, and you would say 100kph is too fast for the pitlane. There is just no grip and it is the same for the start.

"I don't think one side of the grid is going to have a better start than the other. The dirty side has had a lot of rubber put down from all the practice starts that were done this morning."

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