Sebastian Vettel leads F1 drivers' push for better wet tyres

Leading Formula 1 drivers have asked the FIA to consider a wet tyre rethink as they believe the current Pirelli specification is encouraging them to take risks on intermediates instead

Sebastian Vettel leads F1 drivers' push for better wet tyres

World champion Sebastian Vettel spoke out about the wet tyres' performance in a drivers' meeting during the Russian Grand Prix weekend.

Jules Bianchi's Japanese GP accident occurred while running on intermediate tyres at a time when several of his rivals had switched to wets.

Vettel believes that because the intermediate tyre delivers more performance than the wet, when the weather worsens drivers are reluctant to switch from the intermediate even if it is no longer suitable for the conditions.

When asked about the issue by AUTOSPORT, Vettel said: "It's definitely something we've passed on already, not just after Japan.

"Currently the extreme tyre has a very narrow window and the intermediate is quicker.

"As soon as you've got rid of most of the water, you try to put the intermediate on, taking a lot of risk into account, just because it's the quicker tyre.

"That's something we need to work on."

Lewis Hamilton agreed that wet tyre performance could be improved.

"It is no secret that they are not the greatest wet tyres that I have known. I remember the Bridgestones were very good," said Hamilton.

"The slick will always be improved, but I guess not so much focus gets put on the wet.

"You want a tyre that clears the water and does not force us to go to the intermediate when it is so much quicker, and when it is probably not safe enough to do so."

PIRELLI OPEN TO DISCUSSIONS

Pirelli improved its wets for 2014 to ensure there was a decent crossover in performance with the intermediate.

Its motorsport director Paul Hembery believes a key element is to understand the point at which the FIA is likely to bring out a safety car.

That will then dictate what conditions a full wet tyre needs to cope with.

"What is becoming more evident now is that even if you are running on the full rain tyres, it lasts very few laps because of the visibility issues," he said.

"There is so much water being evacuated that a safety car will be brought out.

"So if a circuit is going from inter to full rain, and it will only be a few laps before the safety car comes out, then you are probably going to try to get away with it on inters rather than stop.

"We can always improve in life, that is the nature of technology, but you need to know what you are trying to improve.

"In all of our working groups we have had no comments on wet tyres - it is a new thing that has come up.

"But it is something we will look at with the FIA and see if there is a different approach we can take."

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