F1 drivers not convinced by drainage changes at Suzuka after 2014

Formula 1 drivers believe changes to improve drainage at Suzuka have made little difference after a day of wet practice for the Japanese Grand Prix

F1 drivers not convinced by drainage changes at Suzuka after 2014

Although the FIA investigation into Jules Bianchi's ultimately fatal accident at Suzuka last year primarily highlighted recovery vehicle and yellow flag procedures as areas for attention, it also suggested F1 tracks look at drainage improvements.

Bianchi lost control on standing water at the same spot where Adrian Sutil had done so a lap earlier, and struck the recovery tractor that was retrieving the German's crashed Sauber.

The Suzuka authorities had attempted to reduce water build-up by adding porous asphalt strips and 'U drains' at many locations around the 3.6-mile course.

Work was focused particularly on the first corner, the S-bends through the opening sector, Spoon curve and the chicane exit.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo reckoned the modifications had no effect.

"This morning, on the install run, the rivers which were there were pretty much the same as last year, from memory," he said.

"Nothing obvious [different]."

Asked if he felt the situation had improved, Williams's Felipe Massa replied: "No. When it's raining and there's a lot of water, the aquaplaning is for me the main issue on this track.

"It's a lot of up and downhill so it's not so easy to remove.

"You can even see it on the television, a lot of rivers.

"It was always a problem with this track since I started and I really don't see any improvement."

Although both Friday sessions were rain affected and required the extreme wet tyres at times, they passed accident-free, with incidents limited to trips over run-off areas.

Ricciardo suggested this might have been some evidence that track conditions had been improved.

"I guess most of us stayed on the track, so maybe that says something. I don't know," he said.

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