Hamilton unhappy with 'pumped up' tyres, demands better for 2021

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Lewis Hamilton isn't happy about Pirelli's decision to increase the tyre pressures for this season.

Following the Abu Dhabi test last December, teams voted unanimously to continue with last year's compounds and construction for 2020 based on aerodynamic concerns with the product Pirelli had produced.

To cope with the faster cars for this season, however, the Italian supplier has had to stiffen the tyre by upping the pressures and that has changed their feel on track.

'They brought 2020 tyres, which were worse," Hamilton commented. "It’s easier for us to go into another season with the same tyres.

"The fact that they pump them up more isn’t so great because they looked fine last year, but they’re definitely way too inflated."

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This year marks the 10th season since Pirelli returned to F1 as the sole tyre supplier in 2011 and in that time, they have faced criticism from drivers, who have been frustrated at the inability to push during races.

"I think we just need to make sure that we always want to be working with the best technology, the best technology partners moving forwards," the world champion added.

“We’re just going to keep on pushing them to try to do better, and these tyres will be OK for this year."

Now, all eyes at Pirelli are on the biggest change to F1 tyres for some time with the rim size increasing from 13 to 18 inches under the new regulations for 2021.

Artem Markelov (RUS, BWT HWA RACELAB)

And as the sport looks to improve the racing with the all-new cars, Hamilton says the tyres will be an important part to achieving that goal.

"Reduce aero and give us better tyres," he said. "That’s a very, very important line there: we need better tyres.

"We’ve been talking for years and years and years and years about tyre degradation, thermal degradation. We sat in the meeting room with Pirelli in Brazil and they had never heard of the thermal degradation. They said, ‘This is the first we hear about it!'

"We’re trying to communicate with them better," the Mercedes driver noted.

"The target letter, I don’t know who’s written it this year but they obviously didn’t do a good job for the 2020 tyres.

"But I hope for 2021 that we have a better target and one that they’re able to meet or a manufacturer is able to meet."