Hamilton and Bottas comment on Pirelli’s ‘more robust’ tyres

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

As a response to Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll’s tyre punctures at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Pirelli announced they would be testing a ‘more robust’ rear tyre construction.

The test will be performed during the Austrian Grand Prix free practice sessions. Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think the change will have much of an impact on performance.

“I won’t know until I drive the car,” Hamilton said at the Thursday press conference.

“Most often when Pirelli bring a new tyre there are not huge differences so as far as I am aware it’s a reliability adjustment.

“I don’t really think it’s going to change much but we could get into tomorrow and it could affect some more than others, who knows,” concluded the Briton.

Valtteri Bottas applauds the move, as it is aimed at improving safety.

“It’s always a bit of a challenge, of course,” the Finn said.

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“In the last eight or nine races we learned a lot about these tyres that are new for this season, in terms of rear constructions.

“It’s just another challenge, especially if it changes the car balance, which is still unknown.

“Also, estimating how far the tyres will go in the race, all those estimates will be new for now on, but if it’s for safety, it’s a good thing.

“We don’t want to see any punctures, any failures, so, if that helps the case, then I think we take it.”

However, when it comes to performance, Valtteri will also reserve judgment until he tries out the tyres.

“The honest answer is I don’t know, we haven’t tried the tyres yet. It’s a complete unknown for us, how our car is going to handle, how the grip level is going to be with the new rear tyres.

“That’s what we’re going to try tomorrow, so anything more that I would say now would be guessing and speculation, so I think we’ll learn more tomorrow,” concluded Bottas.

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