Hamilton baffled by tyre nightmare


While the crashes involving Sergio Perez, Jolyon Palmer and Max Verstappen grabbed the headlines, the fact is that today could have been much, much worse, with many drivers coming perilously close to hitting the walls and barriers as they struggled for grip.

Indeed, it's fair to say that everyone went off track at some point or another, some more than others.

Speaking at the end of a difficult day which had echoes of Sochi and Monaco, both of which he struggled at, Lewis Hamilton said much of the blame for today's numerous incidents lies with the tyres.

"The grip is very bad," he told reporters. "Everyone is struggling to get the tyres working, the Red Bulls and the Ferraris perhaps less than others but generally everyone is struggling.

"These tyres are just so hard," he continued, "they're too hard. You can't come to this incredibly warm place and have the track at 50 degrees, and these tyres still don't work, it doesn't make sense."

Asked if he felt the new regulations for 2017, meant the Baku track was more difficult than last year, the Briton was in no doubt. "Yeah, I think a lot of it is contributed by these tyres being a lot worse, in the sense that, they're bigger, heavier, stiffer and harder," he replied, "they just don't work a lot of the time. We're here at a circuit, where the track's 50 degrees and we've got the supersoft and the soft and neither of them work.

"It's almost like we have the hard and the extra-hard tyre here," he added. "Extra hard has never even been made before, but it is the hard and the extra-hard, that's the compounds we have here."

The Briton added that the situation isn't helped by the fact that after running off track, tyre temperatures drop as the drivers wait to rejoin, thereby creating a cycle.

"What happens is, you run wide, it takes you ages to get into reverse, you reverse, and by the time you've reversed and got it back into first gear and gone off, your tyres have dropped way, way out of the window," he sighed. "So then you're tip-toeing around for the next two or three laps, just trying to get temperature back into the tyres, it's a nightmare."

Check out our Friday gallery from Baku, here.

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Published: 23/06/2017
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