With Lewis Hamilton you may get the goofy stuff from time to time but you also get the interesting, frank commentary on things that are sacred idols of the Formula 1 series. Things like aerodynamics, HD tires and now, simulators.
When F1 banned in-season testing—and to be fair, it was getting ludicrous—they did so to cut costs. This begat an arms race as teams simply took the money they would spend on testing and plowed it into advanced simulators worth tens of millions of dollars. I’ve used one at Ferrari in Italy and to be honest, I found it rather difficult to get a handle on. For Lewis Hamilton, he doesn’t think much of them at all according to AUTOSPORT:
“I don’t drive the simulator a lot because it’s not at its best at the moment – we’re working on trying to make it better,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t do a lot of time in simulators. When I was at McLaren we did way too much.
“I could spend £100 on a PlayStation and learn the same amount.”
Now that’s very surprising to hear. To be honest, I think I have felt that way since they became de rigueur but to hear a Formula 1 triple champion say they are about as useful as a Playstation is a huge indictment on the millions upon millions the teams have spent on the. In fact, when I heard how much they spent on these systems, I firmly believe they could have saved money by testing a few times during the season. Now we’re doing both so effectively we are testing in-season and we’ve spent million on simulators.
On the other side of the coin, it’s all part of the mystique of F1 and the “high technology” brand and image the sport has so they leverage that with sponsors and the press and they do use that to provide F1 experiences to those they are marketing to. For that reason, I can understand but I think it’s a lavish expense for something they could easily have more open garage tours, visits to the test and office and achieved the same thing.
If Lewis thinks it, you know there are other drivers who do as well but aren’t in a position to be able to say it…Lewis is. It’s an interesting article so be sure to head over and read it.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT