Formula 1's wet weather tyres have regressed - Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen believes Formula 1's wet-weather tyres have regressed over the last decade, after slating Pirelli's performance in Brazil

Formula 1's wet weather tyres have regressed - Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen crashed out in the treacherous wet conditions at Interlagos at the start of lap 20 of 71, catching standing water on the start-finish straight that pitched him into the wall.

The Finn claimed there was "zero" he could have done to prevent his accident, particularly as he feels Pirelli's wet rubber is not up to the standards of the Michelins he used at McLaren in the mid-2000s.

"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."

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson crashed out eight laps before Raikkonen after aquaplaning into a barrier and coming to rest in the pit entry.

Though he has only experienced Pirellis in F1, the Swede agrees with Raikkonen that previous suppliers' wet tyres were superior.

"For some reason in the last couple of years, when there is standing water on tracks, we are struggling a lot to drive, whereas 10 years back people were driving in these conditions without a problem," said Ericsson.

"There is a lot of room for improvement on the wet tyres because in the corners they are good, but it's just on the straights when there is standing water we should be able to go through that.

"It was raining, but it wasn't torrential. We should be able to race without red flags and safety cars, we've done that in the past, but now it's not possible because of the aquaplaning on standing water.

"So there is a big challenge that they [Pirelli] need to sort out so we can go through standing water without drivers losing the car and becoming a passenger.

"You can be lucky, like Max [Verstappen, who caught a spin in the same place as Ericsson], and you keep it out of the wall.

"Or you can be unlucky like me, Kimi, Romain and [Felipe] Massa. We all crashed more or less in the same place, where it is pretty much not a corner, so for me that is the disappointing thing."

Romain Grosjean, who lost his Haas on the lap from the pits to the grid, described the full-wet tyres as "terrible".

"We need to get better tyres for the wet because losing the car in a straight line is something quite bad," he said.

"It shows the extremes are very poor tyres, there is no grip and you have to take a huge amount of risk."

shares
comments
Former McLaren F1 team doctor Aki HIntsa dies aged 58

Previous article

Former McLaren F1 team doctor Aki HIntsa dies aged 58

Next article

Legendary BMW engineer Paul Rosche dies

Legendary BMW engineer Paul Rosche dies
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
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…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
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