Drivers asking for more full-wet tyres for Fridays – Ricciardo

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo says drivers are lobbying to be given an extra set of full wet weather tyres they can use on Fridays in the event of wet conditions.

Drivers are given three sets of full wet weather tyres and four sets of intermediates per race weekend. However they can also receive an extra set of intermediate tyres for use on Friday only in the event of wet conditions, to encourage more running.

Japanese GP practice in pictures
Ricciardo said drivers have asked for the rules to be changed so they can also have an extra set of full wet weather tyres.

“The problem is, we’re trying to get this changed hopefully by next year, we get one free set of intermediates on Friday but we don’t get one free set of [full wets],” Ricciardo told the BBC. “So basically any [full wet] tyre we use today costs us. If we need to use them in qualifying or the race they’re already a bit not-brand-new, basically, and it’s going to hinder us.”

Very wet conditions during the second practice session on Friday meant just 30 laps were completed by the 20 drivers, all of which was done on the full wet weather tyre. Only five drivers set times and six, including Ricciardo and team mate Max Verstappen, did not leave the pits at all.

“We can use a set of inters but we’ve got to wait for it to be inters [conditions],” said Ricciardo during the session. “If it’s extreme conditions we’re not going to run, and that’s looking ahead to qualifying if it’s wet. It’s a bit of a shame.”

Ricciardo believes Red Bull can be competitive if the rain persists but Ferrari will be strong in dry conditions.

“I was just looking at some GPS overlays that we get, we can compare the others. We seem quick in the corners but slow on the straights. The usual, but maybe too much. It seems like we probably ran more downforce than the others this morning. We’re probably going to look at a compromise, Sunday looks dry, so we’ll look into that.”

“Generally we got out of the box and did pretty well. We’re there, I think Ferrari certainly look pretty good, even their long-run pace was strong. I think in [wet] conditions we could be pretty handy.”

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    12 comments on “Drivers asking for more full-wet tyres for Fridays – Ricciardo”

    1. Considering how useless the Pirelli wet tyres are and how little opportunity there is to test them during a season this really should be changed for next season so they can get more data and hopefully improve them. Yesterday I watched a clip from when they raced in Fuji in very wet conditions. I’m sure with the tyres they have these days that race would have been done behind the safety car.

      1. @metallion The 2007 race indeed started behind the SC.

        1. @jerejj, whilst they spent 18 laps behind the safety car in the end, some teams, such as Spyker, were convinced that the entire race would be run under the safety car (Sutil and Yamamoto both had their cars filled up with enough fuel to run the entire race at safety car speeds), whilst the FIA was having to ready their contingency measures in case the safety car had to refuel before reaching the end of the race (which would be for the medical car to temporarily lead the field round whilst the safety car refuelled).

          1. Jonathan Parkin
            6th October 2017, 18:37

            Somebody – I can’t remember who – joked that was the reason the Safety Car went in the end. Also it was actually 19 laps. I know this because the first retirement was Wurz who collided at Turn One when racing went green for the first time. According to Wikipedia he completed 19 laps

        2. @jerejj
          I didn’t refer to the start but to the race itself. Apparently the safety car was used in the end (short memory), but still the conditions while they were racing were such that I don’t believe it would be possible with this generation’s subpar tyres.

          1. @metallion, even with the tyres of the time, many thought that it had been a mistake to try and run the race in those conditions and that the race should have been cancelled. It wasn’t the only time that the safety car was used during that race, as they had to use it again later on when Alonso aquaplaned off the track and crashed out.

    2. Even if you gave them more wet tyres I still don’t think you would get much running on weekends where practice is wet but the rest of the weekend is expected to be dry.

      I happened to be watching the practice session from the 2005 weekend not too long ago & even with a lot more wet tyres available back then there wasn’t a great deal of running through the wet Saturday morning practice sessions.

      1. Sure, there probably wouldn’t be the same amount of running as in dry conditions. Still, as the drivers are asking for an extra set of wet tyres it shows that they’d want to do more running (in general) but are restricted by the limited number of sets.

        1. @metallion, even in pre-season testing, where the teams were mandated to carry out a certain number of days of wet weather testing and had access to dozens of wet weather tyres, the teams were still very reluctant to carry out any running.

          For example, when Pirelli began wetting the track on the final day of the first pre-season test so they could test the wet weather tyres, only three drivers bothered to even set times – most of the drivers deliberately sat out the session until Pirelli, seeing that nobody was going to bother trying the wet weather tyres, abandoned their efforts.

          As @stefmeister notes, you can give the teams extra tyres, but they are rather unlikely to use them because, usually, the teams don’t want their drivers to go out and risk smashing the car up, particularly if it looks like most of the race weekend will be dry and therefore that wet weather running is useless to them. It’s been like that for years – it’s part of the reason why, back in the early 2000’s, Bridgestone had already begun cutting back on the wet weather tyre allocation since they found that most of the tyres they gave to the teams were never used (especially the “monsoon” tyres, which I don’t think were ever used and were eventually just ditched altogether).

    3. This disgraceful situation must be rectified quickly. The spectators are waiting in the rain, in perfectly acceptable for wet running conditions, to see only 5 drivers do a flying lap? It’s a shot in the foot by F1. They should add 1 more set of wets but declare that once the session was declared wet they must run it for at least one full lap and then return it.

    4. With Liberty aiming for increased entertainment and engagement for the fans, you’d think that they’ll fight the driver’s corner here.

      I say bring the extra sets of tyres and ensure the teams don’t have a reasonable excuse to not run (barring absolute torrential conditions). Then make it mandatory for any teams that still decide not to run to participate in some form of fan interaction (at the track, not online).

      As someone who edits video content for big screens at sporting venues, it would be nice to see more interesting content on the big screens for fans when there is little or no running (i.e. trivias, archive highlights, live social media posts from fans at the track, fan cams etc…)

    5. I don´t really understand why tyres are limited during practice sessions anyway, where is the harm to let them use unlimited tyres in practice sessions?

      If the aim of the session is to have the drivers practice and to give us all something to watch then why have a tyre use limitation?

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