Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the track at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.  Jeddah, March 2023. Credit: Alamy

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the track at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Jeddah, March 2023. Credit: Alamy

Formula 1 commentator Peter Windsor has suggested that Lewis Hamilton’s negative reaction to a possible tire cover ban is driven by a lack of confidence in Pirelli.

As part of efforts to improve the sustainability of the sport, F1 is known to be considering dropping tire warmers for the 2024 season, with a final vote between FOM, the governing body of the FIA ​​and the 10 teams, to take place after July’s British Grand Prize .

Pirelli, who became the sport’s sole tire supplier in 2011, has prepared for the potential change by developing tires that don’t need to be preheated before hitting the track, but reaction among drivers has been mixed.

In February, seven-time world champion Hamilton told the media – including’s Thomas Maher – that the move was a “pointless exercise” and raised concerns about safety.

When asked by a viewer during a recent YouTube stream if he was surprised by Hamilton’s stance, former Williams and Ferrari team manager Windsor strongly suggested that a lack of confidence in Pirelli’s tires was at the root of his concerns.

He said: “I know what the answer to that question is, but I’m not quite sure how to phrase it. I have to think about how to do this.

“If I told you that we’re in a tire war at the moment and Lewis hasn’t ridden on Pirellis, he’s ridden on Michelins or Bridgestones or something, and he was asked that question, I think he’d say, ‘Put it on! ‘

“Does this answer your question?

“I think not to exaggerate too much, Lewis wouldn’t say that because like everyone in F1 he is very grateful to Pirelli for the work they do and often they do a very, very good job. recommends

Lewis Hamilton slams ‘dangerous’ and ‘pointless’ F1 tire cover ban

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“But to do the job that they do, in the minds of some Formula One drivers – I’m not sure if they’re novices because they don’t know any better – they do the job by doing quite a bit produce difficult tires that don’t offer much feel to the driver and go off fairly quickly just when you don’t want them to go off.

“In my view, Lewis is a purist as a racing driver.

“I’m not sure if that’s how he would describe himself, but he is – he’s a pure racer. He is a touch and feel driver.

“And for a touch and feel driver – whether Lewis, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer – when you give them a tire that’s pretty hard to touch and feel and just comes off at some point a cliff, they will not enjoy that aspect of their art.

“I think what Lewis is saying is, ‘It’s difficult enough when the tires are up to temperature! How about without?’

“I think that’s what he’s saying.

“I don’t think he’s saying ‘I’ll be better than Yuki Tsunoda on cold tires’ – because he will be, but to what end?

“I’m not putting words in Lewis’ mouth, I don’t want to be misquoted, I’m just giving my opinion on what a driver like Lewis or Charles is like [Leclerc] or max [Verstappen] would think about it.

“As they are all good in the wet, if you were to ask them now whether the Grand Prix should be wet or dry, they would all say dry because it’s actually quite difficult to get everything right in the current era, in where we are, in the wet.

“If it was a different era – if it was the 90’s for example – I think Lewis would be very happy not to have tire warmers.”

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