Lewis Hamilton believes that the new cars will provide a ‘massive challenge’ for the drivers on the eve of the 2017 season.
The three time World Champion was speaking at a recent BBC Radio Five Live Interview when he made the comments amongst others. He mentioned that he has trained hard for the new season but has no idea if he will be fit enough for the new cars. The 2017 regulations are expected to make the cars around 4 to 5 seconds a lap faster than last season.
“I don’t know if I’ll be easily fit enough, or will struggle a bit or be super-underneath and need to work harder,” the Mercedes driver said.
The new rules will see lower and wider rear wings as well as swept front wings along with bigger tyres and wider car. It is expected to increase downforce by 30%, thus improving corner speeds but also challenge the drivers physically.
It has been mentioned that the new rules might make overtaking easier but Hamilton is not sure.
“My engineers say its going to be a lot harder to overtake. If we see overtaking is worse, its going to be worse for the fans, the spectacle will be worse so I’m hoping that’s not the case.”
Hamilton also spoke on the wider tyres with Pirelli having been asked to produce tyres that will last longer. This would come at the expense of outright grip however which Hamilton commented on.
“I heard tyres might not be as grippy as we’d hope but the aero downforce is going to be huge because it’s a bigger, wider car sot he car behind will be affected even more than it ever was before.”
The Brit also mentioned about the rivals around him and also across the garage from him in the form of new team mate Valtteri Bottas.
“I have known him (Bottas)a little bit from being at the track and he seems really nice, pleasant guy and I look forward to working with him and racing against him. I always welcome challenges and competition.”
“It’s a completely new slate (for the teams.) It might be Ferrari at the front, it might be Red Bull, we have no idea.”
“I think the big unknown is Red Bull, I think they always create an amazing car and this is a new area of downforce and they’re amazing at creating downforce so I think it’ll be really interesting to see what they pull out and I’m hoping it’ll be a real mixture of competition.
“I hope it’ll be close so we’ll be fighting with Red Bull and Ferrari. That’s what the fans want to see.”
Hamilton also spoke about former team mate Nico Rosberg retiring, stating it would be ‘strange’ not to have Rosberg in the team and also about how the sport ‘has a lot of catching up to do’ in regards to interaction with the fans and social media, stating that Liberty Media, the commerical rights new owners, should ask the fans for their opinions.
“The first step would be to see what the fans feel they’re lacking, what they feel they would want more of,” he said. “I think you’d get a good balance of opinions of people who have been to a grand prix. You’d get a lot of opinions but, a bit like our government, it might go the wrong way.”
Today seen the launch of the Mercedes W08 car that Hamiton has already said was ‘incredible’ and ‘pretty awesome’, words that should put the rest of the paddock on alert. First winter test starts on Monday
Photo Credit: Sky Sports