Lewis Hamilton gives his verdict on the 2019 Formula 1 tyres

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Four

Formula One is on the cusp of the commencement of the 2019 season with all eyes among the giants in top-flight racing taking centre stage once again to battle it out across 21 races till the end of the calendar year.

The new campaign is set to witness some changes, be it technical regulations or ensuring driver safety, but, in terms of the tyres provided by Pirelli, every team has their own perspective.

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has expressed his opinion on the compounds delivered for the season by the Italian manufacturers and it seems he is ‘not impressed’.

The British ace admitted that he does not have ‘a lot of good things to say' about the 2019 tyres, asserting the new compound identification system is rather ‘confusing’.

Pirelli mentioned the alterations that were made which saw the introduction of the thinner-gauge tread used at three races last year to combat blistering and overheating.

Although, Hamilton thinks otherwise, declaring they ‘did something else’ instead.

The 34-year-old said: “What do you want to know, if the tyres are any good? I don’t really have a lot of good things to say on that, so best I probably don’t say anything.

“As we get into the year, it is going to be a challenge. They are more challenging this year than they were last.

“And we have all these different names of tyres – C5, C4, C3, C2 and C1. Which is for me personally even more confusing than all the colours that we had.”

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Four

The tyre codenames represent C1 as the hardest of the range and it increases in softness, grip and wear till C5.

This has replaced the rainbow colour range of seven compounds used by the teams in 2018.

Hamilton posted a video on Instagram of his dog Roscoe with the tyres, joking in the social media of it being ‘too hard’.

However, the five-time world champion sounded optimistic and inferred that drivers will get used to it as the season progresses.

“We will get used to it, and it will be the norm,” he added.


“Valtteri [Bottas] seems to be enjoying driving the tyres out there and I will get a bit of a better feel for what the tyres are like.

“I’ve been driving on more fuel so it is never a good feeling generally in any year when you have more fuel on board.

“But we are all in the same boat and I will try to understand them the best I can.”

Pirelli chief Mario Isola has welcomed the feedback of Hamilton and pointed out that C3, the middle compound, was last year’s soft tyre, while the aerodynamic changes in 2019 will impact each car’s balance as teams aim to improve on it to get the best performance out of the tyres.

Isola concluded by saying: “The thinner gauge protects you from blistering and overheating, it could generate graining especially in the colder conditions like in the early morning and late afternoon.

“It was better in the middle part of the day. I need to speak to him to understand better, a bit more in detail, the reason why [he] is not happy.”

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