Formula 1 teams call for proper wet weather test to improve tyres

Formula 1 teams have asked the Strategy Group to help Pirelli in organising a proper wet weather test, as the sport bids to make improvements after Jules Bianchi's accident

Formula 1 teams call for proper wet weather test to improve tyres

Bianchi's crash at the rainy Suzuka prompted concerns from drivers that F1's wet weather tyres should be looked at.

GPDA director Sebastian Vettel spoke out in the drivers' briefing at the Russian GP to say he believed the nature of the current tyres encouraged drivers to run on the intermediates when conditions were more suited to the full wets.

The feedback from Vettel and other drivers was taken on board by the FIA, and the issue of wet tyres was discussed at a meeting of Formula 1's Sporting Regulations Working Group at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend.

One of the issues that came up during that meeting was the fact that proper progress in improving the wet tyres is limited by Pirelli having limited ability to do any proper wet weather testing.

There is no means for the Italian tyre manufacturer to use a current car during the campaign, and a designated day of pre-season wet weather running proved pretty useless at the start of this year when it only had access to a tractor to help soak the Jerez track.

Pirelli has made it clear several times that it needs a track that has a proper sprinkler system in place to ensure the consistent conditions that will allow proper wet testing.

Teams are also eager for a full field to take part in such a test, rather than one outfit be designated to do the running.

The ideal place for such a test, as was mentioned in the Brazil meeting, is Ferrari's test track at Fiorano, but having an F1 test there will obviously raise competitive issues.

With no conclusion of what to do coming out of the SRWG meeting, it has been decided that the matter needs to be sorted by F1's Strategy Group - which is made up of the FIA, FOM and six teams: Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Lotus.

Their next meeting is due to take place in the week after the Abu Dhabi GP, and the issue of a wet tyre test will be added to the agenda of the meeting.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has admitted that the situation of wet tyres is complex, especially because opinions from teams and drivers about what is needed vary.

"You would have to go and do a huge amount of testing to get it perfectly right," he said.

"We have things from people saying we have to improve the slick to intermediate performance, and others saying it is the intermediate to wet. There is not a consensus.

"So you would have to go and do a lot of measured testing. With these F1 cars.

"Fiorano would be the best, but you can imagine what a fuss that would create if we had an F1 test around there for wet weather testing."

The other option is Paul Ricard in France, but any running of current cars outside the season would require a rule change from the FIA.

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