We understand Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think Formula One’s 2018-spec racers will be as enjoyable as this year’s cars to drive, but he’s being pretty dramatic about his displeasure.
Hamilton, while speaking to reporters after the Brazilian Grand Prix, said that next year’s F1 cars will drive “like a bleeding NASCAR” due to the added weight they will be hauling around, according to Autoweek.
F1 cars will have a minimum weight of 822 kilograms (1,812 pounds) including the driver in 2018, compared to 722 kilograms (1,592 pounds) in 2017, largely to accommodate the Halo cockpit protection devices.
“The fact that these days we’ve got 100 kilograms, the car is going to be a bus next year, it’s going to be so heavy it’s going to be like a bleeding NASCAR next year, so heavy,” Hamilton said. “The braking distances get longer and it sounds negative, but as a racer who wants a fast, nimble car that I can attack every single lap, unfortunately that’s not what we generally have.”
The four-time world champion admittedly does have a point that 100 kilograms is a significant increase. In F1, the general rule of thumb is that every 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of weight costs you three-tenths of a second per lap.
By that logic, Max Verstappen’s fastest lap of the race in Brazil, a 1:11.044, would have been a 1:14.044 in a 2018 car. Verstappen’s lap — which broke Juan Pablo Montoya’s lap record at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace — therefore would have even been slower than Felipe Nasr’s 2016 qualifying lap that secured him the last spot on the grid.
So yes, adding more weight to F1 cars does quantifiably hurt their performance, but it also substantially increases how safe they are.
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