Hamilton: Mule tyre tests a waste of time


In anticipation of the new regulations for 2017, which included new, wider tyres, Pirelli held a number of tests over the latter half of the season at a variety of tracks.

To simulate the 2017 regulations, 2015 cars were modified, with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes tasked with carrying out the tests.

The busiest driver was Sebastian Vettel, and as a result some felt he headed into 2017 with an advantage, justifying their suspicions with his win in Melbourne.

On the other hand, twice Lewis Hamilton withdrew from the tests, on both occasions claiming he was unwell. As a result he had virtually no running on the 2017 prototype tyres... not that he feels he needed it.

"I'm so glad I didn't do that testing, because the car is so different," he told reporters in Shanghai. "I did a few laps in the Abu Dhabi test in the 2015 car and it was so much different to this car. It would have been a waste of my time. I'm glad I didn't do it. It made no difference.

"The fact is the car had so much less downforce and it was lighter than the car we have today," he continued, referring to the mule, "so it wouldn't have put the tyres in the same window. The stuff I would have learned then, I would have to undo it and learn again."

"I am happy to drive the car, there's always something to learn, so the days with Pirelli, they helped me," said Vettel at the official press conference. "The reason why I am happy to do it is because I love driving. When there is an opportunity to test, even though testing can be boring, you are driving. That's better than sitting on a bike to be fit to drive the car.

"Track time is limited," he added. "I cannot understand why you would reject it."

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Published: 06/04/2017
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