This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix is facing disruption from Super Typhoon Hagibis, which is expected to arrive late on Friday and bring heavy rain throughout Saturday. “If it looks bad they might cancel straight away and not even come,” said Raikkonen.
“Obviously we know how limited we are with the tyres, unfortunately. It doesn’t need much rain then we have aquaplaning, that’s the issue, then obviously you have zero control.”
Raikkonen believes very wet conditions which F1 cars used to run in are now too much for the tyres.
“[In] the early days when I started it could rain really heavy and we never had an issue,” he said. “So for sure the tyres are not best when there’s standing water but that’s how it is unfortunately.
“It doesn’t look like there’s a lot of water, it looks really ridiculous sometimes that we cannot run. But that’s just how it is.”
Raikkonen raced on Bridgestone tyres in his first season of F1 with Sauber, then switched to Michelin at McLaren the following year. Bridgestone began supplying the whole grid when the ‘tyre war’ ended in 2007, and Pirelli took over as the sport’s sole tyre supplier in 2011. Two years ago new, wider tyres were introduced.
Several Formula 1 drivers have complained about the performance of Pirelli’s full wet weather tyres in recent seasons. Raikkonen has been one of their most consistent critics during rain-affected race weekends, including at Interlagos in 2016 and at Monza in 2017.
“When there’s a river you lose absolutely control of the cars,” Raikkonen added. “We’ll see, if it rains like it supposed to rain I think it’s a very clear no-go. We’ll see what we can.”
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