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Hamilton taking a risk too far in pursuit of title glory?

NEWS STORY
16/05/2017

On a number of occasions during Sunday's Grand Prix, it appeared that Lewis Hamilton was almost breathless.

While, on a humorous note it was at one stage claimed that the breathy responses to radio calls suggested he might have Roscoe in the Mercedes cockpit with him, his dog having attended the Thursday press conference, the Briton's fitness was subsequently questioned.

Indeed, in the ante room, while Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo stood and re-lived the race, Hamilton quickly slumped on to a sofa. Even on the podium, in a rare move, the Briton removed his cap in an obvious bid to cool down.

Asked later about his breathlessness in the car, Hamilton said it was proof how physical these (2017) cars are to drive.

However, in the post-race press conference, the Briton revealed that in a bid to save weight he has been running without a drinks bottle.

"From turn one to the end it was flat chat," he told reporters, "those races are the most... you're just using everything you've got so for sure, in that first stint, for instance, to keep... to stay on Sebastian was a killer.

"Also I don't carry drinks in my car either to save weight," he continued, "so I'm not having a drink through the race.

"Then at the end, I used everything I had left when I jumped into my team and my heart rate hit the ceiling. I was good when I got out of the car but jumping into... I don't know if I will do that again. I was a little bit tired after that one."

Which prompts the question, is driving at speeds of up to 208 mph (using Barcelona as an example) in cockpit temperatures probably around 30+ degrees for 95 minutes safe?

In his pursuit of that fourth title, and his determination to fend off Vettel, is Hamilton, who admits to losing around two kilos in weight during the race, putting himself, and ultimately his rivals, at risk?

Possibly one for the FIA and indeed the GPDA to look into.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by edllorca, 18/05/2017 2:49

"As long as he is hydrated well to begin with and does not seem to have loss of performance toward the end then it is no big deal.

That type of commitment is what it takes to win against a competitor that is neck and neck."

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2. Posted by airman1, 17/05/2017 6:22

"This is an indicator of two things, that Lewis is an uncompromising competitor and a triple world champion, by design, not by chance. The second things is that this rings a bit of desperation by Mercedes, as I am sure they have the means to disallow such a choice by the driver. The fact that they let it happen speaks volumes of their desperation to hold off Ferrari...."

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3. Posted by No.67, 17/05/2017 0:55

"As far as I'm aware, he's yet to arrive on the grid, blow his nose and hand the soiled hankie to Toto! (With apologies to Peter Ustinov's 'The Grand Prix of Gibraltar' - look it up.)"

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4. Posted by ryanhellyer, 16/05/2017 22:19

"@Kkiirmki A haircut would save a few grams. A drink bottle would save around 1000 grams. They already save weight by using very thing lightweight paints on the car; I assume they do the same for helmets too."

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5. Posted by mickl, 16/05/2017 21:18

"A drinks bottle will probably add a kilo and a bit with the weight of the bottle, plumbing and liquid it all contains.

Mercedes have apparently been 6kg overweight on the car and the latest updates is said to have claimed half of that back. Think it amounts to about a tenth of a second."

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6. Posted by Kkiirmki, 16/05/2017 20:35

"Oops, the Malaysian GP hasn't been run yet."

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7. Posted by Kkiirmki, 16/05/2017 20:33

"Really, how much weight are you saving by not having a drink bottle/device in the car? Why doesn't he remove the paint from his helmet while he's at it; a haircut and a shave could save a few grams too? Good thing the Malaysian GP is done, not having any water available in that race could be a serious health issue."

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8. Posted by ryanhellyer, 16/05/2017 19:17

"This seems like more of an issue for Lewis to sort out himself. I don't think the governing body needs to get involved in drivers drinking habits."

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9. Posted by F One, 16/05/2017 17:19

"Surely he's breaking a whole bundle of rules doing that isn't he?"

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