Pirelli: Better F1 rain tyres would make visibility worse

Pirelli says that improved wet tyres are not what Formula 1 needs to be able to run cars in heavy wet conditions – because they would only make visibility problems worse.

Pirelli: Better F1 rain tyres would make visibility worse

The red flagging of the Belgian GP after a few token laps behind the safety car reignited the debate about F1 cars not being able to run safely in heavy rain.

In Sochi on Saturday the FIA cancelled FP3 while waiting for a window in which to run qualifying.

Isola says that the conundrum is that the better Pirelli’s wet tyres are at dispersing water the more spray is created, a problem that was exacerbated by the change of tyre dimensions to a wider specification four years ago.

“I've talked to many people after Spa, because obviously nobody wants to see again another Spa, with people waiting for hours and then nothing is going to happen,” Isola said when quizzed about F1's rain problem by Autosport. 

“On the tyre side there is very little we can do, because the tyres are designed to guarantee the crossover between the full wet and the intermediate, and moving this design target is not ideal, because then you can create a gap.

“And in any case also making a tyre that is more able to disperse water, if you disperse water the water is flying and the visibility becomes worse and worse.

“So we are not fixing the issue, we are probably making the issue worse. I don't know what we can do in terms of tyres.”

Rain lashes down in the pit lane as the red light is displayed at the exit

Rain lashes down in the pit lane as the red light is displayed at the exit

Photo by: James Gasperotti / Motorsport Images

He said the change to wider tyres in 2017 increased the amount of water being thrown up by the current spec by up to 40 percent. “The fact that in 2017 we have introduced the wider tyres is also increasing this water that is flying. The old wet was able to disperse 60 litres per second at 300kph, and now we are going up to 85.

“Unless we find a way to block the water and avoid that it's sprayed and limiting visibility I really don't know what we can do. I honestly don't have a solution for that.”

Isola said that track surfaces designed to reduce spray could help, while acknowledging that venues would be required to invest heavily in any changes.

Read Also:

“I believe that with the knowledge that we have now it is probably possible to design a tarmac that is able to avoid the standing water, or design circuits with a sort of camber, that is just keeping the water away from track.

“It's not easy, obviously we cannot ask the promoters to redesign or re-profile all the circuits. There is something that can be done with the experience that we have in recent races. But when we have an amount of water that is excessive, then it's difficult.

“And I believe it's the same for any outdoor sport. If the level of rain is huge any type of competition is stopped, football or any other that is outdoor.”

shares
comments

Related video

Piastri prepared to sit out F1 2022, targeting 2023 race seat

Previous article

Piastri prepared to sit out F1 2022, targeting 2023 race seat

Next article

F1 Russian GP: Norris beats Sainz to maiden pole at wet-dry Sochi

F1 Russian GP: Norris beats Sainz to maiden pole at wet-dry Sochi
Load comments
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021