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 long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021