Lewis Hamilton says driving a current F1 car is not as easy as it looks after the “lift and coast” radio messages in Canada made many observers question how hard drivers have to push these days.
Hamilton insists that current drivers have their hands full as they manage fuel, tyres and other parameters, and they need information from the pit wall.
“It’s different definitely from the years where you had fuel pit stop and you had tyres which you could perhaps push further,” he said today. “But it’s the new way of F1, apparently. It’s not easy to be accurate with the different driving techniques we have to use nowadays.
“Naturally when you’re behind people you want to be pushing to get past, but you’ve also got to watch your fuel, and watch your tyres, because otherwise you won’t make your stop. There’s so many things which you have to have in the back of your mind when you make those decisions.”
Lewis insisted that drivers need to have information from their engineers.
“For us drivers with the way these tyres are, [for] the optimum way to get to the end of the race, we don’t have all the information in front of us. You can’t feel how much fuel you are using. You are driving as fast as you can the majority of the time, so you need some guidance with that.
“What do you think’s going to happen if they don’t tell me about tyres? I’m still going to drive the same. And if they don’t tell me about fuel, then maybe more cars won’t finish. If that’s more exciting, we can do that!”
Elaborating on the lift and coast issue he said: “You have no guidance to know how much fuel you’re using. There is an indicator that you can have, but it’s not very accurate. You’re just driving your race, and you know you have 100kgs to use. It’s not like you have a figure that shows you how much money you are using in your bank account and you can see it going down as you make your payments.
“A lap is payment and you don’t know how much fuel you used than any other lap. You could just use one lower gear and you lose than than the one before, or you can be a little bit more aggressive on power and you use a little bit more fuel than on the previous lap, but you can’t see that. So that’s where you get the guidance.
“A couple of years ago there was more information, so I’m not really sure, I think people are looking to blame something because they’re unhappy about something.”