Hamilton brands MotoGP ‘more hardcore’ than F1

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, talking pre-Bahrain GP. March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, talking to the media before the Bahrain Grand Prix. March 2022.

Given the lack of safety elements compared to Formula 1 cars, Lewis Hamilton believes MotoGP is ‘more hardcore’ as a result.

Hamilton lauded the safety improvements that have been made in Formula 1 in his time in the sport, and pointed to the limited options available to those on two wheels as an indicator of just how dangerous motorcycle racing can be.

Appearing with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi in a sponsor video talking about the life of a driver and rider, the Mercedes man spoke of the long-standing mutual respect between the two disciplines, but believes the “fear factor” will always be a part of MotoGP in particular, being exposed in the way they are.

“[Rossi] spoke about Formula 1 drivers admiring MotoGP and MotoGP riders admiring F1,” Hamilton said.

“For us… I personally think that MotoGP is more hardcore – these guys don’t have seatbelts. When they have a crash, it’s big.

“It’s very, very difficult for them to improve safety, so that fear factor is always there, and it’s been there for years.

“Maybe there’s a bit of traction control and lift control but, generally, you can be thrown off. In [Formula 1], it’s getting safer and safer and safer.”

Formula 1 cars have steadily increased in weight over the years, in no small part due to the additional safety measures being put in place to try and protect drivers as much as possible.

Mick Schumacher’s crash at Jeddah last weekend is an indicator of how the strengthened side impact structure did its job in protecting the Haas driver in his 170mph collision.

But the biggest example of how Formula 1 has progressed came in Bahrain in 2020, when Romain Grosjean crashed and his car burst into flames, but mercifully, he was able to get out of his Haas quickly and escape with burns to his hands.

Seven-time World Champion Hamilton contrasted that with the risks MotoGP riders take regularly, and admitted he feels nervous even watching the races himself.

“We had a huge crash just recently,” he said of Grosjean’s accident.

“Car in flames, and [he got] out. So it’s gone from a racing series that was very, very dangerous and people were losing lives many years ago, and I think it’s going in the right direction.


“But we watch what [Rossi] does and what they do in complete shock. These guys are doing 360 kilometres an hour [225mph] at the end of the straight braking into Turn 1 at Mugello!

“And then they have the high-side moments and all that… it’s nerve-racking!”

Having toyed with the idea for a long time, Rossi has now made the move to four wheels after retiring from MotoGP, finishing P17 on debut alongside his team-mates in the GT World Challenge Europe at Imola at the weekend.


Hamilton brands MotoGP 'more hardcore' than F1

Lewis Hamilton has said MotoGP is 'more hardcore' compared to Formula 1.