Lewis Hamilton says getting tyres in the “narrow working window” is playing a “huge role” in the 2021 championship, “maybe more than ever before”.
“I think the tyres are clearly playing a huge role, maybe more than ever before,” the Briton said at the French Grand Prix Thursday press conference.
“There’s an interestingly very narrow working window and getting the most out of the tyres is always the case each year.
“Getting the most out of them for a single lap but then also having the balance to be able to go the distance with actual pace is always massively challenging.
“Thermal degradation is a constant issue. It has been for many, many years so we’re getting some places where the aero package is not perfectly great for the tyres.
“It’s not ideal for maybe a race run. Or it might be ideal for the race, but not for a single lap. We’re finding that much harder this year to find the perfect balance between the two.
“But that’s the great challenge that we’re faced with.”
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Lewis is now 4 points behind Max Verstappen in the championship standings, but he hopes for good performances now that Formula 1 is returning to more conventional circuits.
“The last two races have definitely been really difficult for us as a team. It’s definitely been challenging, but we’ve learned a lot.
“We continue to strive for perfection, we continue to unite and there’s not really a lot we can’t do when we are together and united.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting back onto a track where we probably won’t be as affected as with tyre temperatures, for example.
“Paul Ricard has been good for us in the past here but I anticipate a tough weekend here naturally.
“Obviously, the Red Bulls have shown some serious pace over the previous races, as well as the more conventional tracks such as Barcelona,” concluded the seven-time champion.