Hamilton fearful his tyres ‘might explode’

Jon Wilde
Lewis Hamilton Pirelli

Lewis Hamilton fears his tyres “might explode” if pushed too hard in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix following his final-lap Silverstone puncture last week.

The six-time World Champion made it three consecutive wins, and moved 30 points clear in his title defence, despite his Mercedes finishing on three wheels in last Sunday’s race due to a tyre failure.

With manufacturer Pirelli having brought even softer compounds for race five of the 2020 campaign, the onus will be on drivers to manage their tyres accordingly – with a minimum of two pit-stops highly likely for the entire field.

But Hamilton will also need to find a way of getting past his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, either at the start or beyond. Bottas edged pole position by just 0.063sec and will have Hamilton alongside him on the front row of the grid.

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“It wasn’t that great,” said Hamilton of his own qualifying session. “Valtteri did a fantastic job at the end – he was just a bit too quick for me and deserved to get pole.

“It was also probably down to me not doing a good enough job at the end. For me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap. The first one was very decent and the last one not spectacular. But it was relatively close and it’s not the end of the world.

“I’m happy for the team to have a 1-2 and to see another great result for Racing Point (Nico Hulkenberg qualified P3).

“It was a struggle today balance-wise, not so easy to get it nailed. It will be interesting to see how it works with a slightly different set-up tomorrow. We’ve got a long race tomorrow and I’ll do everything I can to beat this guy.

“I haven’t looked into the race scenario with the soft tyres. I imagine there will be some sort of management. We don’t want to push these things because they might explode!”

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