Lewis Hamilton appeared in a sponsor video alongside MotoGP star Valentino Rossi as they spoke about the life of a driver and a rider. Though Rossi has officially retired from MotoGP and is now racing cars, Hamilton goes on to talk about the mutual respect between the two forms of racing and how the fear factor still remains in the case of MotoGP.
Hamilton praised the safety improvements that have taken place in F1. He mentioned how MotoGP had a limited scope in improving safety since riders still race on two wheels- a straightforward indicator of the dangers involved in motorcycle racing.
Lewis goes on to say:
“For us… I personally think that MotoGP is more hardcore – these guys don’t have seatbelts. When they have a crash, it’s big.
“It’s very, very difficult for them to improve safety, so that fear factor is always there, and it’s been there for years.
“Maybe there’s a bit of traction control and lift control but, generally, you can be thrown off. In (Formula 1), it’s getting safer and safer and safer.”
Formula One cars have got a lot better in terms of safety. A downside of this is that the tech and gear make the cars a lot heavier. But at the end of the day, it is definitely worth the extra kilos if it can save a life.
There are plenty of examples of high speed F1 crashes but then, you see the driver just walk out like nothing ever happened. Last weekend’s 170 mph crash at Jeddah saw the car side impact structure work excellently in protecting Mick Schumacher.
During the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2020, Romain Grosjean crashed his car which then burst into flames. Luckily, he could quickly escape with some burns to his hands. This is the biggest example of how Formula One has evolved in terms of safety.
Lewis mentions the 2020 incident:
“We had a huge crash just recently.
“Car in flames, and (he got) out. So it’s gone from a racing series that was very, very dangerous and people were losing lives many years ago, and I think it’s going in the right direction.
“But we watch what (Rossi) does and what they do in complete shock. These guys are doing 360 kilometres an hour (225mph) at the end of the straight braking into Turn 1 at Mugello!
“And then they have the high-side moments and all that… it’s nerve-racking!”
Hamilton even mentioned that he feels nervous watching MotoGP races.