Hamilton: 'Inflated' Pirelli tyres 'feel pretty bad' at Paul Ricard

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Lewis Hamilton was unhappy with Pirelli's "inflated" tyres after a tricky Friday at the French Grand Prix.

The Briton was off the pace of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at Circuit Paul Ricard but played down whether a chassis swap with the Finn was to blame.

Instead, Hamilton was simply frustrated by the lack of grip and admits a long night might be in store to find improvements.

“I am looking at every option,” he explained. “We’ve made lots of changes, we will probably do a lot of analysis again tonight with the hope that it’s going to be better tomorrow.

“But who knows, we won’t know until we get back out tomorrow. As I said, the times don’t look terrible, we were close up at the front so at least we were in the battle.

“It’s quite a struggle this weekend I think probably for everyone,” Hamilton, who was third behind Bottas and pacesetter Max Verstappen in Practice 2, added.


“I don’t know if it’s the track surface or it’s the temperature or these inflated tyres, they’ve put the pressures up higher than ever before - one of the highest.

“It’s difficult to say. We are all sliding around and it’s a struggle out there for everyone.”

Pirelli's move to increase the pressures comes after Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll suffered high-speed failures in Baku, which the Italian supplier claims were due to those cars running lower pressures than the rest.

But the impact on performance is notable.

"They all feel pretty bad but I think the hard [compound] is the better feeling one because it seems quite a heavy-duty with the temperatures here so the softer you go the worse it feels," Hamilton explained.

"I would imagine the hard is going to be the one that most people can't wait to get onto but I am not sure which tyre is quickest.

"The soft tyre seems to run out halfway through the lap and then the medium tyre I think is a little bit more resilient but it doesn't give you a huge amount of grip so we shall see."