Baldisserri: Hamilton may struggle in 2008

Luca Baldisserri, Ferrari s team manager, believes that Lewis Hamilton and some of the other younger drivers may find it difficult to adapt to the lack of traction control.

Traction control has been banned from the 2008 season onwards. For many of the drivers, it will be their first time in Formula 1 without the driver aid. Hamilton had an excellent 2007 season, eventually finishing in second place having led the field for much of the season, however Baldisserri believes that Hamilton will have a tougher season this time around.

“I think that, with these new regulations, Lewis Hamilton may have a rough time,” Baldisserri said to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. “For sure he won’t be able to carry on driving the way he has, and even though he raced and won in GP2 without traction control, he was on different tyres.”

Baldiesserri also said that he feels F1 has regressed by ten years, although he thinks this is better for the fans. “Despite the safety problems associated with engine management have been solved by now, there are still some doubts on reliability,” he said. “You only need to look at the functionality on the steering wheel to realize we’ve gone backwards by ten years. But I think this is the right route especially if the spectacle will be better, which I hope it will.”

When questioned on how the traction control will affect the drivers, Baldisserri replied, “The start, for example: up to now it was 20% down to driver’s ability and 80% electronics, while now it will be the other way around.

“The tyres will wear out in a different way and it will be hard to manage them, so we’ll have to rethink race strategies. Most of all, without electronic aids it will be harder to regain control of the car after making a mistake.”