Brazilian GP News

Drivers critical of Pirelli wet weather tyres

It was the story of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the wet weather that descended on Interlagos last Sunday which tested Pirelli’s rubber to the maximum in challenging conditions on the track.

Many teams believed that the conditions were between the full wet and the intermediate, with many believing the intermediate was the better tyre even in the difficult conditions. So bad were the wet weather tyres, a number of drivers have already complained at how poor they are, with even Kimi Raikkonen commenting on them given his experience on many different tyre eras.

Marcus Ericsson talked to F1i.com about his crash from aquaplaning, and said: “Aquaplaning, white line, combination of both. Up the hill was just so difficult. The rest of the track I think was very drivable but just that part from Turn 12 to the start finish line for some reason these last couple of years that’s the most difficult part.

“When we go high speed and there’s water, for some reason these tyres that we use at the moment you can’t go through standing water without having a big risk of losing the car. I was not the only one.

“For me if you look back ten years ago it was very drivable in these conditions and I think the rest of the track was very drivable but for some reason I think we need to work on being able to go through these pools of standing water without having this aquaplaning problem.

“The thing is, for a driver you cannot catch aquaplaning like that. You can if you’re lucky and you get it right, but nine times out of ten you are in the wall. The tenth time you get like Max and just miss the wall by just half a metre. For me that is a difficult one.”

Kimi Raikkonen believes though that the current tyre provided by Pirelli isn’t as good as that of Michelin ten years ago, “These tyres are very vulnerable, very easy to aquaplane,” said Raikkonen.

“Obviously it depends on the circuit, on many things, but if I’m comparing it to 10 years ago or 12 years ago, those tyres could handle this kind of water with no issues, no aquaplaning.
“The aquaplaning is the big issue. It looks like if you have a little bit of standing water there’s zero grip.”

Pirelli have stated many times they would like more time testing wet weather tyres, with the 2017 specification undergoing significant testing around the world.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment