Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2014

Hamilton and Vettel want wet tyre improvements

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel want the FIA and Pirelli to improve the performance of F1’s wet weather tyres.

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Hamilton wants better wet tyres (BBC)

Hamilton: “You want a tyre that clears the water. And not forcing us to go on to the inter because it’s so much quicker when it’s probably not safe enough to do so is something I think the FIA and Pirelli will work on.”

Kimi Raikkonen: Laidback Lada driver to reluctant Ferrari star (CNN)

“I have a contract for next year and probably for one more year. But I’m not a young guy any more.”

McLaren to bring in major updates before Abu Dhabi (F1)

Eric Boullier: “The reason [for the upturn] is the major upgrade which we brought to Singapore. It is true we have another major upgrade coming before the end of the season. It is not designed to bring advantage for the double points [available in Abu Dhabi], it is more about building the foundations for the future.”

Mercedes: Rivals ‘launching tsunamis’ (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “We have barely won one championship and we are already faced with multiple tsunamis hitting us from all sides in order to restore the order.”

Alonso’s Ferrari marriage never lived up to vows (The Telegraph)

“With his old team principal Stefano Domenicali moving to Audi in recent days – for now it is in a non-motorsport capacity – suggestions Alonso will try his hand at Le Mans, a category he has spoken warmly of, will gather pace.”

Mansell vs Hamilton (MotorSport)

“It’s unlikely that he will ever become Our Lew. (For which his handlers are probably thankful!) Though his victory at Silverstone was enthusiastically received, it was hardly Mansell-mania.”

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Comment of the day

Has Fernando Alonso left Ferrari yet?

Yawn, most drawn-out high-profile driver move ever. Just get on with it.
@Spawinte

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  • 44 comments on “Hamilton and Vettel want wet tyre improvements”

    1. I’m all for better rain tyres however skeptical as to whether they can be developed. Throughout the winter we hear of teams complaining about having to run in the wet; with just one of the 365 calendar years dedicated to wet running yet very few laps were turned in the wet.

      Part of the reason why Bridgestone were able to develop such a good wet tyre was because they were allowed to test more in that era, plus the competitive situation of having a tyre war with Michelin. I can’t envisage the rate of development that the teams and drivers desire when the sport is not in a tyre war.

      1. Erm…there was no tyre war with Michelin for as long as LH & SV can remember. It was when Bridgestone was a sole tyre supplier.

        1. Bridgestone and Michelin competed for 6 years. It’s very silly to suggest that the drivers who only competed after 2006 derived no benefit from the developments of the previous 6 seasons.

    2. “You want a tyre that clears the water. And not forcing us to go on to the inter because it’s so much quicker when it’s probably not safe enough to do so is something I think the FIA and Pirelli will work on.”

      OK, I have no problem with development of better wet weather tyres. They are good for the sport, and have more road relevance.

      I take exception, however, to the terminology. Nobody is forcing you to run inters when it is unsafe. That is a decision you and your team make: Risk a less safe tyre to get a better lap time. But it is your choice.

      I have heard the same said about the excessive speeds used under double waved yellows: “We are forced to go that fast so we don’t loose time on our rivals”. No! You are not forced! You choose to run at unsafe speeds so as to get the fastest possible laps.

      1. I take exception, however, to the terminology. Nobody is forcing you to run inters when it is unsafe. That is a decision you and your team make: Risk a less safe tyre to get a better lap time. But it is your choice.

        Exactly. Just as with other issues, its the teams and drivers decision to risk going over he line by taking the possibly faster but less safe choice. And its exactly what makes it exciting when the best drivers pull that off while others are staying safe but slower (be it they might have a better chance of finishing in the points)

        1. Hamilton was being polite. The wet tyres are horrible. They are scandalously bad. That’s what I’ve heard from sources that the drivers say off the record.

      2. @drmouse @bascb I disagree, teams and drivers must push the boundaries on all fronts to gain maximum advantage. This includes safety. They place their faith in the skill of the driver to come out alive (for example when Ferarri came up with their version of the F Duct and we saw Alonso driving with no hands at times!).
        The onus is on the rule makers to ensure that loopholes in their rules do not create potentially unsafe driving conditions.
        In an ideal world teams would have a meeting and agree what the safest speed to drive under yellows is, but in reality they are calculating how many tenths they can eek out by operating on the limit of the rules.
        The same goes for intermediates, “You need to be on the right tyre at the right time”, the whole premise of the sport in changeable conditions is to correctly jump to the correct tyre before your rivals. So if you have a tyre that could potentially gain you a huge amount of time, teams are going to jump the gun even if it’s more difficult for the driver.

        That’s the way I see it anyway.

        1. @twentyseven While I agree that teams and drivers push the limits (that is their job), they are still making a choice.

          The onus is on the rule makers to come up with a set of rules which allow safe racing, with as little room for unsafe conditions as possible. Maybe the decision should be taken out of the drivers hands, and they must be on the tyre (wet/inter/dry) that Charlie tells them.

          This debate is just like the speed-under-double-yellow one. The drivers should be capable of driving safely. They have shown that they are not, so some sort of rule/procedure change is required.

          I think it is quite damning to realise that the best drivers in the world are incapable of saying “I know the inter/dry is faster at the moment, but it is not safe, so I will stick to the wet/inter”, or “I know that 207kph is way too fast round this double-waved-yellow corner, so I will go slower, even though everyone else is going that fast”.

          1. What you say is true but these are athletes, they are built to compete and if one driver jumps the gun and changes tyres and goes 2 secs faster the others have no choice but to do it or risk losing a lot of positions. Same as in a yellow flag zone, if you are driving 2s ahead of someone and lift and lose 1.5s and the other guy lifts and loses only 3 tenths of a second then he will be in a position to overtake once you get to a green flag section. Also remember that the tyres loose a lot of temp if you go slowly. This situation then means that a driver will either say I don’t mind loosing positions or Ill try and loose as little time as possible so Ill only do the maximum. Its the same thing in the pit lane, drivers wait till the last possible moment to brake, even locking up as they attempt to minimize their time in the pits as much as possible. They are built to compete, and if they are soft then they will not get the drive to begin with.

          2. Well said @drmouse. We are talking about drivers who have the capability to try and find limits in driving most of us can only daydream about. They surely are capable of feeling when its safe to drive and when its worth taking a bit of a risk and be faster.

            Yes, if they fail to do so, it would be a call for the FIA to mandate running with wets in more circumstances (as they are now going to mandate speed limits), something I am sure hardly any fan would be in favour of @twentyseven

            1. Unfortunately in all this wet tyres are a non sense in F1 as it is …

              The reason is, when they run wet tyres, it means there is a lot of water on track and usually they throw enormous amount of water into the air making the race unsafe and bringing red flags. Thus when the light go green again, that’s just a matter of a few laps before enough water is cleared to make the inter much beter than the wet, not enough to build a pit gap … That’s why wet tyres are now irrelevant as they are.

              However, a good solution would be to have wet tyres between actual wet and inter. Keeping red flags as they are when there is too much water and not enough visibility, and developing new inter between actual inter and hard to have them switch later and gliding on hard compound when it’s not due to …

        2. Something this reminds me of is when Coulthard revealed that one of his Adrian Newey penned McLaren’s had a function where a small lift from full throttle did nothing. A ‘confidence lift’ had no effect on engine speed. And the drivers were unaware, until it was banned. Think of the fine margins Colin Chapman left, sometimes incorrectly and at great consequence. The teams and drivers will go to ridiculous lengths to win. It would be great to be able to change that, but this isn’t a ‘gentlemen’s’ sport anymore (whatever that is). Stirling Moss once ran out of fuel round the Monza banking, and asked for a push, at 100mph+, from a privateer, to get him to the pits. Those attitudes have changed, and the culture isn’t in place for them to return. And that is why safety is regulated. If you compartmentalize the responsibility, there is no conflict of intention. Teams want to go fast. Sport wants to stay safe.

      3. This is F1 racing. As with slowing for DWYF, the expectation that drivers and teams should balance safety against speed is fundamentally flawed! In the case of DWYF the decision needs to be taken out of their hands. In the case of the tyres either the FIA must make an everyone-pits for-full-wets-in-the-next-3-laps call (no-one wants that) or the performance windows of the tyres should be such that you don’t gain an advantage from running an unsafe tyre. Pirelli’s insistence that there’s nothing wrong is laughable when viewed from that perspective.

      4. Don’t forget “Hamilton said that the Pirelli wet tyre was less effective than that produced by the company’s predecessor as F1 supplier, Bridgestone.”

        So the concerns about the wet weather tyre are legit.

        It’s quite funny that I made the same comments as Vettel and Hamilton today after the Japanese GP.

      5. With your line of thinking, Jules shouldn’t be getting any sympathy at all.

      6. You can argue about the terminology all you like, but the fact remains that no driver is going to willingly lose a competitive advantage. So either there is required a fundamental change in attitudes, or changes made in the interests of safety.

        After all, if they were considerate of the dangers whilst racing, they wouldn’t be racing.

    3. Surely they can turn this into another gimmick, and give better wet tyres to everyone except Hamilton?

      1. @bullfrog LOL! Or when you’re within 1 second of the driver infront you can press a button that changes their tyres into slicks :)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          17th October 2014, 10:10

          Or those Bond cars with spikes at the touch of a button when icy.

    4. Re: COTD. I’m sure McLaren are just struggling to find a way to tell Jenson “Sorry but… see ya!”

      1. Lewis Hamilton according to reports has signed a deal to drive for McLaren next year which means there is spare spot at Mercedes. This is all very much confusing driving market year to date. I seriously don’t what will happen with all world champions in the field currently for this year, as there is too much uncertainty.

        1. And which reports are these?

            1. This is much better site than f1today
              http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/10/button-considering-future-with-porsche-as-alonso-closes-on-mclaren-deal/

              Truth is Button is out of F1 as Mr. Peter Griffin just pointed out. ;-)

              On serious note Alonos deal is done. Only thing is finalizing last bits. Alonso wants 1 year opt out clause which Mclaren don’t want.

            2. Why are you recycling old rumours that have been laughed at and basically squashed by everybody who really matters?

        2. What reports are you basing that on @william?

          I have seen plenty of mentions of a contract between Vettel and Ferrari (waiting to be announced until Alonso gets himself sorted), a pre contract between Alonso and McLaren (or recently to Honda itself) and rumours that Hamilton might have been talking to Ferrari mid season.

          But no sources that are at least somewhat believeable have mentioned such a deal being in place between Hamilton and McLaren. Especially strange given that they would have to buy Hamilton out of his Mercedes contract (while Alonso is available to get, seriously?)

        3. The Blade Runner (@)
          17th October 2014, 9:55

          Eh…?!

          He’s contracted with Mercedes for 2015 and apparently in negotiations for 2016 onwards. When he was directly asked in a post-race interview about Alonso joining Mercedes in 2015 he looked genuinely affronted and said something to the effect of “well he can’t because I’m here!”

          I’m all for conspiracy theories, even if only to give me a chuckle, but Lewis to McLaren for 2015 seems a step too far….

          … or is that what “they” want us to think?!

        4. That website is fake. Hamilton is not going away from best car.

        5. The source said: “Lewis was in the Woking factory three weeks ago. He arrived by helicopter, had a conversation about two hours with the management and then left with a big smile on his face. He signed here, I can assure you.

          Because that’s the only logical explanation. It’s not at all possible he was just seeing old friends.

          Can someone lend me an industrial-strength air purifier? The stench of proverbial is overwhelming.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th October 2014, 10:18

        Alonso to Honda according to Speedweek (info from ‘informant’)
        €105M/3yrs paid by Honda.
        McLaren must pay second driver. I doubt they will pay Button €29M.

        http://www.speedweek.com/formel1/news/65175/Exklusiv-e28093-Fernando-Alonso-wird-Honda-Angestellter.html

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          17th October 2014, 12:30

          *Button €16M (some $20M)

        2. I know sometimes rumours turn out to have been accurate, but LH to Mac for 2015? He’d be the laughing stock of F1 to hand his car over to someone else. Never mind he’s been there done that at Mac and there are reasons he left that go beyond just car performance. This rumour is just too silly to have anything to it.

          1. Here is another rumour, Alonso to Mercedes and Nico Hulkenberg to Ferrari

    5. Why not back on early 2000 we has 3 types of wet tyres- inters , wets, super wets. Currently between inters and wets which clear 25 and 65 litre per minute respectively there is big gap. They can make wets better and add a compound in between.

      Plus there is no tyre war. So there is no risk of situation like Bridgestone wets 3 sec faster than Michelin and than Michelin inters 3 sec faster than Bridgestone in same race, like Indy 2003 .

      But if they make better wet tyres than they should allow drivers to race in them to rather than keep till conditions are safe for inters.

      1. Sorry lot to of grammatical errors on that

      2. I’d forgotten about the three tiers actually, thanks for bringing that up @nin13

      3. Super wets wouldn’t even be necessary. The race would be stopped long before they were required.

    6. Happy birthday to Kimi. He is one my favourite drivers out there. And to see him suffering with the Ferrari this year is painful to watch. He said before the last gp that FA has had it very easy beating him this year. And I too rate FA very highly but he has not done any magic with the car either this year. Their grid places after quali is where both more or less finish each weekend. I am not sure how many times this year FA or KR have passed a car in front. Have they ever passes a Red bull..or even Williams on track. Both Ferraris just follow the cars in front every race and it makes it hard for a Ferrari fan to watch when the only position changes happen lap one or as a result of a pit stop. KR struggles with the front and FA always says he is happy with the car and he feels he is getting the max out but for some reason his lap time is a second off the leaders pace. In some races where KR gets that same “happy” feeling they qualify next to each others. But we have not seen that often this year. Therefore I hope that Fernando stayed for one more year and both get a good car and KR will be able to up his game with a better car. But it now seems FA is inevitably leaving and it will take Ferrari years to climb out of this hole. Disappointing that is but can not blame FA for leaving. If next year Ferrari is a second of the pace again, then hopefully at least one of the other teams will put up a fight with the Mercedes as its quite boring the state of F1 today for other than Mercedes fans at least. Last year when Ferrari qualified out of top 5 you still knew that podium was possible. Today it is not possible without retirements or some safety car drama. Anyway enough of that Ferrari state now. As an F1 fan some good news about Jules would be great. This 3 week break between races is too long..guess I still want to watch the rest of the races even when Mercedes wins again.

    7. Why F1 bosses are so poor on emitting their opinions when it comes to writing the rules?

      Not long ago, they agreed on freezing engine development to some extent. Now we have two camps: (i) pro unfreeze and (ii) con unfreeze.

      No long ago, fans were screaming for killing the double points rule before it was too late. Some said an unanimous vote could have saved us from this farce but nobody moved a feather… now? The whole bunch says “it’s stupid”… really?

      1. I’m glad nobody is complaining about the noise anymore though.

        No artificial ‘engine sounds’ please.

    8. Eric Boullier: The reason [for the upturn] is the major upgrade which we brought to Singapore. It is true we have another major upgrade coming before the end of the season. It is not designed to bring advantage for the double points [available in Abu Dhabi], it is more about [attracting Alonso].

    9. That Kimi Raikkonen article brought up a smile on my face, thanks for sharing it Keith!
      I didn’t know he used to have a Lada :D

    10. As we all wait for positive news on Jules, it’s worth pointing out that three youngsters – two of them teenagers and two of them women – have died within the last three days in horseracing events. F1, thanks to its vigilance over safety improvements, seems tame in comparison.

    11. WEC – proper, grown-up’s motorsport – will be exciting next year. Audi, Toyota and Porsche all throwing cash at it, and all with top drivers. Button and Alonso joining their friend Webber at Porsche? Anyone? What a driver line-up that would be!

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