Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton: F1 cars not physically hard enough to drive

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 cars should be more physically demanding to drive.

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What they say

Hamilton was asked about his post-race drugs test on Sunday:

Drug tests, it’s random, it’s up to three times a year, maybe. Sometimes it’s less. There used to be a point where there was potentially quite a out of season, away from the track, back home, hotels.

Honestly this is not a sport where you need to do anything. It’s not like cycling. Cyclists, for example, they need more blood flowing through the heart, more oxygen. We’re not fatiguing particularly anywhere.

Honestly it’s not hard enough. The cars are not hard enough to drive, it should be more physical. I think in 2021 they need to not have as much power steering, for example. You should be physically, massively depleted afterwards. I think that’s how sport should be when you finish.

Tennis players, they’re finished at the end of the game. Especially if it’s been multiple hours. Cyclists must be dead after Tour de France, for example. That’s what this should be about.

But it’s less so about that physical side nowadays and that’s why we see an 18-year-old can come in no problems. But it shouldn’t be the case. So the point is there’s no point in doing anything to enhance our bodies, it’s just training.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Are people being too quick to judge Mercedes tester Nikita Mazepin?

I don’t really get where all the hate is coming from?

He was second last year with more wins and fastest laps than his rivals. He lost only to a guy who had a season more of experience in GP3.

He is not doing great at F2 at the moment but neither is Mick Schumacher who already drove a F1 Ferrari car for a test.
Basil (@flyingbasil)

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  • 27 comments on “Hamilton: F1 cars not physically hard enough to drive”

    1. Regarding Hamilton’s comment – Well, what a surprise. We scraped everything off the front wing only to put it on the bargeboard area and triple the amount of overly complicated aero bits. F1’s running in circles. Cars are too long with ridiculously large wings and exaggerated floor area – has anyone checked? The cars are running with more floor area exposed than covered by the cockpit. And then let’s wonder why they create such an uninspiring racing. You can’t really make the difference when you’re pushing downforce to the limit.

      1. You both are right.

      2. I may be wrong but shouldn’t downforce cause the drive to be even more physically demanding since you can drive a lot faster, and therefore more exposed to G-force?

        if you make the car faster and remove power steering… that may make the driving a lot more physical while you still need to sustain that speed.

        I that that is what he is getting at…

        If the cars becomes smaller and lighter, that would also make it a lot faster.

        1. I have 3 words to counter your argument: drag reduction system.

          On a more serious note though, see how much steering corrections there are for the unaided Indycar drivers at COTA, as opposed to LH.

          1. digitalrurouni
            14th May 2019, 14:48

            I’m thinking you have some faulty thinking therem DRS has nothing to do with fatigue. Hayden is correct. Corners and higher downforce should result in more fatigue bit yeah they do have power steering so it’s not as tiring. Remove tiring and watch people make more mistakes get more fatigued and find it harder to drive in general lap after lap because fatigue is more of a factor then. I would think high downforce plus no power steering is gonna deplete drivers way faster.

            1. He was arguing for sensible measures. My point was that instead of that, they give us DRS highway passes.

      3. I share the sentiment, @pironitheprovocateur, but I also wonder if the regulation was to establish that the only source of downforce be the floor, if that alone would solve the problem for the cars to follow, and which evident grey areas could benefit the teams on the pursuit of creating additional vortices.

        I’m all for loosen regulations, but I don’t expect that to happen, unfortunately.

        1. Over 60% of the downforce already comes from the floor.

      4. @pironitheprovocateur it depends. See onboard shots from 2004… Without power steering they’d be fighting the car a lot more. They were just as fast back then…

        It’s time to remove power steering like in Indycar.

      5. @pironitheprovocateur & everybody else commenting. You guys ignoring the major issue here, the crappy Pirelli’s. If Pirelli’s tyres were made to degrade in a much better way the cars would be way more demanding. The FIA/Bernie asked for more pitstops based on the 2010 Canadian GP. Where drivers were actually pushing the whole race & still having to make additional stops because of the condition of circuit at my home track. Nobody asked for tyres that need to be driven at 60% of the cars performance just to be able to stretch out the # of laps before a pit stop.

        Push the tyres in quali? Well, you have no more tyres left for Sector 3. It’s absolutely ridiculous & @gt-racer has confirmed more than once that his inside info from says that team feel like Pirelli is using a cheaper way of making multi pit stop tyres.

        With these Pirelli’s, when you attack another driver the tyres overheat & then the following driver has to back off to cool his tyres down.

        Narrow temperature window, where if your outside of that narrow window the tyres don’t really work (aka also in 2012, 7 winners in 7 races).
        Crap, complete crap.

    2. Problem is, they are running 6-7s off quali pace on regular race laps. That is almost the difference between F1 and F2.

      1. @jureo But that’s something that has been the case since 2010 already, though. Ever since the ban on in-race refuelling have the lap times in the races regularly been several seconds slower than the pole time of the same weekend, not just at present. Only a return to in-race refuelling (which was detrimental to on-track overtaking) would change that, nothing else.

        1. Refuelling has better racing, maybe, but is much more unsafe – with the risk of fires. If they could somehow get rid off that risk, then I’m all for it, bring it back. But at Indycar just last weekend, Rosenqvist’s car twice caught fire when refuelling.

          1. That was crazy. Twice his car caught on fire and he just drove away so the wind would blow out the fire as he sped away down the pit lane. You don’t see that in F1. They also almost 200 overtakes in the race. Another thing that won’t happen any time soon in F1.

    3. Schumacher is 99.99% in my mind an incommunicable quadriplegic. If he was able to communicate I bet he would let the world know. The secrecy the family is keeping is beyond bizarre, they must feel an element of shame, I know the waiting fans would feel no shame knowing that is his position. I Bet Schumacher has no say in his position, and likely has no comprehension or knowledge of what his position actually is, but I suspect if he did, he would tell his family to let his fans know. This upcoming documentary is unnecessary, and pointless if they don’t explain his position, just a money grab. Im scared the only time we will get an update on Michaels situation is when he dies, he must be in a worse position than Christopher reeves was. I don’t mean any of the above in a negative way towards Michael Schumacher himself, but can anyone imagine any other way the family will release news of his condition??

      1. No one has any say in the way a family conducts itself in an event such as that. The way they handle the situation is entirely theirs to decide. They don’t owe anyone anything…

      2. I don’t think of it as secrecy but as privacy, and they are 100% entitled to it.

        1. @robbie – Totally agree. Hard to understand how some fans do not get that.

        2. Exactly. Not our business.

          I have to say, I disliked Schumacher when he was winning for being smug, but I was a kid back then. Something like this really brings home how lightweight sporting fandom/dislike is compared to real life. The number of times I narrowly missed a rock skiing, and thought I probably ought to have a helmet…

    4. But the modern F1-cars are the fastest F1 cars ever to have existed, so surely they’re harder to drive than before. Definitely at least harder than the 2014-16 cars. A somewhat weird claim by LH.

      Regarding the Guardian-article: How could there be scenes from the 50th birthday celebrations if they’re to avoid showing the relevant person in question at all costs?

      I need to get the setup that Max has so that I could practice every day or whenever I felt like it, LOL.

      1. 80% of the race the top six is cruising around. Look at Leclerc last race. On hard, one stop strategy. No chance on points, just cruising to the end. At least a safetycar put some action back on the track (not).

        1. Excuse me, replace points in podium.

      2. @jerejj Wasn’t Hamilton exhausted after one or two races last year? (Mexico?) Seem to remember him barely able to speak after one win. So they can’t be that easy to drive at least some of the time.

        1. @david-br Yes, I also recall him being so exhausted that he could barely speak after some race, but at the moment can’t figure it out which race it was.

        2. Yes, he was exhausted. Hamilton’s full of it, you can’t believe anything he says.

          1. Why such toxic comments? And always aimed at Hamilton..Mexico is a high altitude track so makes perfect sense why drivers would be more exhausted there, and have you sat in a full racing suit in 30+ celcius humid weather? I doubt it. What he says has been echo’d by many drivers in since the super tyre management era started, so why are you so offended when it comes from Hamilton?

            Ofcourse there are going to be some races where drivers are more exhausted, but most of the time that’s due to temperature and humidity over anything else.

    5. I think he speaks nonsense. There’s no reason an 18 year old couldn’t bring the same physical performance as an older driver. Probably are capable of more than 35+ year olds…

    Comments are closed.