You can listen to all of the audio from this afternoon’s FOTA Fans’ Forum discussion involving Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi on the SoundCloud link above.
Predictably, fans’ questions largely revolved around their prowess in overtaking. Although one fan asked Hamilton what question he would ask Ayrton Senna if he had the chance.
“I’d ask him how he managed to qualify a second ahead of the rest in Monaco that time,” said Hamilton.
Both drivers agreed that of the three aids to overtaking in F1 today, KERS tyres and DRS, the latter is the most powerful and interesting.
“I love the new tyres, Pirelli have done and amazing job,” said Hamilton. “The DRS is probably the most unique part. It makes it easier to get closer to people. The DRS gives you the opportunity to catch them up and overtake, so that’s been cool. Before we had it it was very difficult to overtake. What we’re trying to achieve with it is to put drivers in a position where they are able to make the manoeuvre. Of course there are some opportunities when you can breeze past someone before you get to the braking zone. I passed Michael last weekend and it was able to move back onto the racing line, so it was way too easy. I watched the replay and Eddie Jordan said it was a special move. Just shows what he knows about it!”
Kobayashi agreed. “DRS is a cool system. At the start of the season we were worried because it’s a new system and we didn’t know if it’s safe. After a couple of races we see that it’s unique. Psychologically it’s important because it’s not just for overtakes, some times we need to use it well, like when you catch a backmarker.”
A straw poll of fans earlier in the Forum, during the team principals section, showed that the majority of fans were prepared to give the DRS a chance and didn’t find it artificial. Around a quarter of the 300 people present said they found it made overtaking ‘too easy’.
There was also an interesting question at the end about the point of view of the onboard cameras and how different it is from what the driver sees. Hamilton suggested that a camera on each side of the driver’s helmet would be a good thing. “The view is completely different,” he said. “It would be cool if you guys could see what we can see.”
You can download lots of photos free from the event by clicking here PHOTOLINK