Lewis Hamilton has voiced his concern at how environmentally friendly flares are after witnessing them being used at the Austrian Grand Prix. Adding to the sea of orange attire seen at the Red Bull Ring in support of Max Verstappen, many fans lit orange flares at the start and end of the race. It resulted in a spectacular image of the competitors driving through foggy sections of the track. When asked about the impact the flares had on driving conditions, the Mercedes driver commented that visibility was partly an issue, but also voiced his doubts on their environmental credentials. "Just on the formation lap, you couldn’t see the apex of Turn 7, and at the end of the race, you couldn't see anything through Turn 6," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com . "So fortunately, it wasn't necessarily the case during the race but maybe they should just save them more for the end? "I can't believe they're really good environmentally either."
Verstappen content with controlled flare use
Verstappen was less reluctant to criticise the use of flares or any visibility issues, but instead cautioned against throwing the flares. "I saw one flare, they threw it onto the track or onto the grass. I think that's the only thing they shouldn't do, as long as you keep it in the grandstands," added Verstappen. "The wind blows it over the track for only one lap, so it doesn't arrive within the track, I think it's okay." The Austrian GP winner, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, agreed that the visibility was reduced during the formation lap, but was mostly unfazed by the flare smoke. "The formation lap was quite a lot but yeah, but nothing too bad. You could still see so it was fine," said Leclerc.