Hamilton calls on Pirelli for even softer tyres


While it receives constant criticism from almost all quarters, Pirelli insists that it is producing the tyres for Formula One it has been asked to produce.

However, four-time, going on five-time, world champion, Lewis Hamilton has called on the Italian manufacturer to be more daring in its 2019 tyre range in a bid to encourage a move away from one-stop strategies.

Other than calling for softer tyres, the Briton also wants Pirelli to continue lowering tread thickness, as seen at the Spanish, French and British Grands Prix.

"I've really got to keep pushing Pirelli," he told reporters at Suzuka, "because the tyres feel great here, but this whole one-stop business is just ridiculous.

"Next year I reckon they've got to go like three or four steps, maybe three steps softer," he continued. "Swing them all lower so we have to do at least two stops per race.

"It's going to make it a little bit more challenging," he admitted, "and more grip, naturally, as you go to the softer compounds.

"And then the thinner gauge, so you have less of the thermal blisters that we see... and maybe we can be able to follow other cars and have more racing."

The Briton was in buoyant mood, having dominated both practice sessions on a track he adores. Indeed, at one point in FP2 he was almost giggling with delight, admitting that he was "having the best day".

"Every time we come here, the last couple of years particularly, the cars are getting faster and faster, and it's incredible," he grinned. "The track, they don't make tracks like these anymore. There's very little room for run-off, a little touch of the grass and you're off in the wall.

"It's very marginal, on the limit, "he added, "and it's so quick through that first section. It's probably one of my favourite circuits, if not the favourite. I'm on the edge everywhere. Honestly, naturally it gets easier once you get to Turn 13, get the long straight and 130R, it's easy from then for us.

"But the first and second section is insane. It's the best rollercoaster ride, that first section, that I've particularly felt in a Formula 1 car. I'm loving driving more than ever. The rest of the day, ugh!, but when you get in the car, it's just the best.

"Honestly, it's so much fun."

Check out our Friday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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Published: 05/10/2018
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