Pirelli listen to drivers wet tyre concerns following Brazil criticism


Felipe Massa - Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A

Following criticism following the Brazilian Grand Prix with how the wet tyre failed to deal with the amount of water on the track, Pirelli racing director Mario Isola met with drivers to get feedback on how to improve the tyre.

Isola joined the drivers briefing on Friday at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi to listen to the thoughts and comments of the drivers, and Pirelli insist they will work to improve the tyre in order to make the racing safer in wetter conditions.

“It was a very productive discussion because we do not test the wet tyres a lot in development tests or during events,” said Isola on Autosport. “We really have little information on wet-weather tyres, especially the wet because with the intermediate, with the regulations, they have an addition set on Friday and if it’s raining they use the intermediate more.

“The wet is not used a lot and when it happens during the race, we have a real test. So it is important to understand which are the areas and the direction we have to work to make a better product.”

The problem that Pirelli face is to minimise the consequences of making the wet tyre a better tyre, with drivers possibly needing to switch to the Intermediate rubber much earlier, but with more talks expected between drivers, teams and Pirelli, this is likely to be addressed.

“We had an interesting discussion on the different points of view and I collected a lot of useful feedback to understand what is the direction we want to take,” said Isola.

“We need to take a decision – what is the target? We can move it onto a product that is more suitable for heavier rain conditions, then we also need to evaluate the consequences. Do they then need to switch onto the intermediate tyre earlier?

“We have to consider the different aspects of any decision and that is the point that is important to discuss. Once we agree this is the target, OK fine we all go in the same direction.

“One aspect we consider in our analysis was that if we go to Silverstone, Suzuka or circuits that are high-energy, with rough Tarmac, or we go to Monaco, Brazil or other circuits that are smooth or have cold conditions, at the moment we have exactly the same tyre.

“Do we need to consider developing two different wet-weather tyres? Not to take both to one event, but we will nominate it. For Monaco, we have wet type one and for Silverstone wet type two – this is also a possibility. If it improved the performance of the tyre it is a possibility, but to develop two different products, testing is necessary.”