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
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

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
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021