Lewis Hamilton urges Formula 1 not to compromise on challenging conditions

Lewis Hamilton has advocated for retaining the challenging nature of some tracks amid a debate over the conditions at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has raised his voice in a plea to the sport not to lose its edge by becoming “soft” in response to the recent debate surrounding racing in extreme heat conditions. 

The controversy emerged after the scorching conditions during the Qatar Grand Prix, with several drivers experiencing the impact of the high temperatures, including Logan Sargeant, Esteban Ocon, and Lance Stroll.

Hamilton’s own race in Qatar was cut short after a first-lap collision with George Russell, but he weighed in on the discussion, emphasising the need for Formula 1 to stay true to its roots and maintain its status as an extreme sport.

In Texas, during the F1 United States Grand Prix, Hamilton expressed his perspective, stating, “I’m going to be controversial as always. 

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“Obviously, I didn’t do the race. So I didn’t get to feel the pain that the drivers felt. 

“But I have obviously been here a long time. 

“Malaysia was much hotter than that race, and I know what it’s like to lose four or more kilos in the race, and barely being able to stand afterwards.”

Hamilton’s stance on the matter underscores his belief in the uncompromising nature of Formula 1 as an extreme sport. 

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He draws a parallel with marathon runners, asserting that they do not demand shorter races after completing their gruelling runs. 

In his view, Formula 1 drivers are well-compensated for their challenging roles and should embrace the sport’s extremeness.

From his personal experience, Hamilton has encountered moments where he has felt physically drained at the end of a race. 

However, rather than advocating for the reduction of race lengths, he encourages himself and his fellow drivers to train harder and rise to the physical demands of the sport. 

He firmly believes that the sport should remain extreme, preserving the unique challenges it presents to its participants.

Hamilton elaborated, stating, “I want to feel the difference, I want to feel pain in my body. 

“I want to be able to, hopefully with that extra bit of training that you put in or that extra bit of dedication that you have had, helps you get that extra lap and win that race. 

“That’s what this is about.”

Furthermore, Hamilton emphasised the importance of being cautious about altering the sport’s fundamental nature.

He pointed out the existence of track limits and extensive runoff areas in modern Formula 1, contrasting them with the past when consequences for going over the curbs were more severe. 

He urged for a balance between safety and maintaining the sport’s grit.

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Hamilton concluded by reminiscing about the sport’s history, referencing legendary drivers like Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell. 

He highlighted the fact that Formula 1 is meant to be an extreme challenge, and elite athletes should be pushed to their limits. 

He embraced the idea that enduring physical challenges, even to the point of struggling to exit the car after a race, is an integral part of the sport’s essence.