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.

shares
comments
Horner must convince Red Bull chief Mateschitz to stay in F1

Previous article

Horner must convince Red Bull chief Mateschitz to stay in F1

Next article

Japanese Grand Prix Friday FIA press conference transcript

Japanese Grand Prix Friday FIA press conference transcript
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021