'It's a pointless exercise' – Lewis Hamilton slams 'dangerous' new F1 rules that could put drivers' lives at risk | The Sun

LEWIS HAMILTON has slammed "dangerous" new rules coming into F1 that he believes threatens to put drivers' lives at risk.

The seven-time world champion lashed out at proposals to ban tyre blankets, saying it is a "pointless exercise".

The rules are being considered as part of a shake up to reduce costs, as the energy-consuming blankets pre-heat tyres to provide better grip.

But Hamilton, one of only a few drivers who have trialled the new Pirelli tyres which had not been warmed first, says it could cause a crash as drivers take to the track on cold tyres.

He said: "I think it's dangerous. I've tested the no blankets and there's going to be an incident at some stage.

"So on a safety factor I think it's the wrong decision. You have to drive multiple laps to get the tyres to work.


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"The whole argument is that taking away the blankets is for going more sustainable and more green. In actual fact we just use more fuel to get temperature into the tyres.

"But more concerning is just when you go out, the car is skating around, it's very twitchy, and if there's someone else who's on tyres that are working you could easily collide with them. It's a pointless exercise."

Pirelli, the FIA and F1 are already phasing out tyre warming equipment on sustainability grounds.

Last year, the temperature at which they operate was reduced from 100C front and 80C rear to 70C all round.

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There had been plans to drop that temperature further to 50C this season, but that was stopped after the drivers voiced their concerns during a trial run in Austin last year.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc also agrees that the blanket ban comes too soon.

He added: "For now I don't think we are exactly ready. I think there's still a little bit of work, especially on the warm-up part of it in the first few laps, it's still quite tricky."

Meanwhile, Hamilton has mixed feelings about this year's Mercedes car after F1 testing in Bahrain came to a conclusion today.

He added: "It's difficult to sum it up. We've had a couple of difficult days — Friday particularly was difficult.

"The first day didn't feel too bad, [but] yesterday was a little bit more of a struggle.

"I think George has had a much better morning on Saturday, so hopefully we've got the set-up in a bit of a better place.

"But right now, for example, the bouncing that we had has pretty much gone, so that's a huge step for us.

"It's nice to drive without the bouncing for once, but there are still some underlying things that we're working through."

The F1 season kicks off next Sunday in Bahrain and Hamilton says it is still too "difficult to know" where Mercedes sit in the pecking order.

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He said: "Some of the balance limitations that we had last year are present — we're working through them.

"[But] I'm really proud of everyone in the team for continuing to remain positive after a tough year last year, [doing] amazing through the winter for us to drive and have the mileage that we've had."

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