Ex-Ferrari Race Strategist Reveals Lewis Hamilton Race Prep Which He Keeps Exclusive for New Circuits

Ex-Ferrari Race Strategist Reveals Lewis Hamilton Race Prep Which He Keeps Exclusive for New Circuits
Credits: Imago/Nur Photo

F1 has witnessed massive growth over the last few years which has led to the addition of new circuits to the calendar. Drivers take time to adapt and have their unique approaches to adjusting to a whole new surface and layout. Lewis Hamilton for one, has a special way of dealing with these races, as revealed by Ruth Buscombe, former Head of Strategy at Ferrari and Alfa Romeo (Sauber).

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Hamilton’s love for traveling around on his scooter is well-known within the F1 paddock. However, he uses it for more than just having fun. Buscombe revealed in The Racing Pilot podcast, that Hamilton used it to get the feel of a new circuit.

“You know, in Qatar last year, which was effectively a completely new track because they’d resurfaced it, you suddenly see Lewis Hamilton out there on a scooter, where normally, he’s not there,” she said.

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With the evolution of technology, simulators that replicate real-life results have made things much easier for teams and drivers. It allows them to get an idea of tire degradation and energy consumed in a lap almost perfectly. However, the sensation of a track surface remains something that teams and drivers need to understand physically before suiting up for a race weekend.

While Hamilton uses his scooter to understand track surfaces, other drivers have also come up with their own ways to do the same. Some use scooters, while others resort to bikes and e-bikes to take a lap around a new circuit. Unfortunately, Hamilton or other drivers cannot do what they always have this season. The FIA banned using any kind of vehicle on the track before a race.

Lewis Hamilton’s challenges ahead of the Chinese GP

The upcoming Chinese GP will pose 2024’s first new track challenge for the drivers. While the circuit itself isn’t new, it is making a comeback to the F1 calendar for the first time since 2019. Lewis Hamilton won the last race in China on his way to winning his sixth driver’s championship.

However, that doesn’t mean he knows what to expect once racing begins in Shanghai. Not being able to use the scooter to understand the track surface will add to Hamilton’s ongoing struggles amid another poor season for Mercedes. Hence, the 39-year-old will need to come up with a new way to get a better understanding of the track surface.

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Several other stars will drive in Shanghai for the first time. Given the Chinese GP is taking place after four years, the grid has welcomed many new drivers in the interim. Logan Sargeant, Zhou Guanyu, Oscar Piastri, and Yuki Tsunoda all make the list of drivers who will race in China for the first time.

The weekend will pose additional challenges for all the drivers. Aside from the resurfaced track, it will also feature this season’s first Sprint Race. Hence, drivers will only have 60 minutes of preparation time before competitive action begins at the Shanghai International Circuit.

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