Sports Tires like balloons: Hamilton questioned Red Bull pressures
F1's pandemic pause spurs Hamilton to race on for 2-3 years
SILVERSTONE, England — The pandemic-enforced break from Formula One could prolong Lewis Hamilton's career. “The COVID-19 lockdown, whilst it was a negative, in some ways it gave a lot of life, a lot of energy to focus on some other things," Hamilton said Thursday, “and that time off was a bit of breathing space, and provided a bit of energy to perhaps go longer.” How much longer for the 35-year-old world champion in his 14th season? “Ultimately I want to be able to perform at the level I am right now but there is a point at which the physicality and the mental side can tail off," he said. “I’ve no divine right to be here.
What was only an "outsider strategy" for Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff has been so dominant so far World champion in Silverstone conquered fairly and honestly (). The start on hard tires has proven to be the right one for Max Verstappen, plus the other tires than a week ago, which could have made the difference.
Not only did Pirelli bring softer compounds with them, after the tire damage last Sunday they also specified higher minimum pressures: 2 psi on the front tires, 1 psi on the rear tires.
Hamilton wins British GP to close in on Schumacher's record
SILVERSTONE, England — Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday despite a puncture on the last lap to clinch an 87th career win and move within four of Michael Schumacher's Formula One record. The championship leader's record-extending seventh Silverstone win saw him finish six seconds ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left.
Mercedes didn't seem to have liked it today: "They didn't have the problems we had today," said second-placedabout Red Bull. "The extent of the blistering was definitely unexpected."
Whydid not have these problems remains to be guessed. During the race, however, Hamilton had expressed the suspicion that Red Bull could drive below the Pirelli specifications. However, there is no specific indication of this.
Hamilton himself was anything but satisfied with the tire pressures: "Pirelli had problems with the tire damage, so a week later they increased the tire pressures higher, higher, higher and higher. They are now balloons," says the Mercedes driver. "These are the highest pressures we've ever had on such a route."
"I wouldn't be surprised if this was a problem for us today."
Especially in the second stint, Hamilton had to be careful with his tires for a long time: "I managed what you can hardly believe it. I unpacked my best skills, but it made no difference in terms of blisters," said the Briton.
"In the end, I basically drove with half a tire. If you looked in the mirror, half of it was worn out, the other half was okay. I was nervous that it might explode or something."
In the end it was still enough to finish second.
Hamilton rushes to pole in Barcelona - Vettel beaten .
© Getty Images Lewis Hamilton takes pole position in Barcelona Lewis Hamilton put up with the defeat at Silverstone. The world champion took pole position a week after the missed victory in his English home in Barcelona. The Mercedes driver relegated team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Silverstone winner Max Verstappen to places two and three in the Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel suffered the next low blow with a new chassis. He missed Q3 by two thousandths of a second and ended up in eleventh place.