IndyCar’s wet weather tyres are better than Formula 1’s – Grosjean

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says wet weather races are more enjoyable in IndyCar than in Formula 1.

In brief

Wet IndyCar races “more enjoyable” than F1 – Grosjean

Ahead of this weekend’s race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road circuit, which ran in wet conditions last year, Grosjean said he enjoys racing in the rain on the series’ Firestone tyres more than he did in F1 on its Pirelli rubber.

“The good thing is that we could stay flat out on the straight because we have good tyres,” he said. “So I feel my life is a lot more enjoyable than I’d known in the past.”

Some IndyCar drivers encountered visibility problems with their Aeroscreen during last year’s race, but Grosjean wasn’t one of them. “I was one of the only guys that had no problem,” he said. “I had no fog, visibility was poor, but compared to Formula 1 in the wet was actually pretty decent.”

Doohan quickest after causing last of eight red flags

Jack Doohan remained on top in the second day of Formula 2 testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, after causing the seventh and final red flag of the day. The Alpine junior driver lapped the Spanish Grand Prix venue in 1’24.318, putting him a tenth of a second clear of Frederik Vesti.

Clement Novalak was first to spin and bring out the red flags after the session began on a wet track. Jak Crawford caused a pair of stoppages, while Roy Nissany, Dennis Hauger, Enzo Fittipaldi and Ralph Boschung also did their bit to keep the marshals busy.

Haas wreckage shocks Sainz

Madrid native Carlos Sainz Jnr visited the F1 Exhibition at the Ifema venue in his home city and was particularly impressed by the burnt-out Haas VF-20 chassis from the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.

“The most shocking piece in my opinion is of course the burnt chassis of Romain Grosjean,” said Sainz. “It is a great reminder of how dangerous this sport can be, despite all modern safety measures. It’s also a reminder of what we drivers put on the line every time we go racing.”

Grosjean’s car was destroyed after it exploded into flames when he hit a barrier on the first lap of the race. He survived the crash with burns to his hands.

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F1-inspired Medical Car for the road…

Aston Martin DBX707 AMR23 Edition, 2023
Aston Martin DBX707 AMR23 Edition, 2023

If you’ve always wanted to drive around town looking like you’re in the Formula 1 Medical Car, Aston Martin have the special edition for you. The DBX707 AMR23 Edition features a similar body kit and colour scheme to the model seen on track at F1 races this year.

…and overtake boost for the track

Alpine A290 Beta concept, 2023
Alpine A290 Beta concept, 2023

Alternatively if you like the idea of a hot hatchback with a central driving position and a 10-second overtaking boost button, this concept car from Alpine may be to your taste. Whether those features will make it to the production model remain to be seen, however.

Alpine say the overtake button is “derived directly from Formula 1 and the rest of the motorsport universe [and] will come on all models in Alpine’s full-electric line-up.” The feature “can only be used when the track is dry and can only be pressed again after a 10 second wait,” it adds.

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Comment of the day

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I was at the race over the weekend and the biggest thing that stood out to me was how it felt like hardly anybody there actually had any passion or knowledge of the sport. Most those I spoke to had no idea what was going on and didn’t really react to any of the racing or overtaking that was going on and a lot of them left the stands well before the end the race.

I’ve been to many F1 races since I got into the sport in 1978 and this was the first time I’ve ever attended a race where I felt like an outsider because of how it just didn’t feel like an F1 event and most of those there just didn’t feel like they were actually race fans.

There was no passion like you get at COTA or other races I’ve attended around the world over the years. It felt like a very corporate event been attended by people who were there to say they were there rather than because they had a passion for the sport.

Can’t say I’ll be going back to the Miami GP again.
Steve Lewis

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steven!

On this day in motorsport

Fernando Alonso won his home race for the third time today in 2013

Author information

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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26 comments on “IndyCar’s wet weather tyres are better than Formula 1’s – Grosjean”

  1. Archibald Bumfluff
    12th May 2023, 0:09

    Dare I say…

    F1 hasn’t had good wet weather tyres since 2010

    1. Here come the comments to defend Pirelli.

      1. Pirelli’s wet weather tyres have been horrendous. We’ve had cars loosing control behind the safety car.

    2. Bridgestone always had a very good wet tire & there F1 intermediate’s were an exceptional tire with a very wide performance window as well as very good crossover windows at both ends of the scale that allowed them to be good in both fairly wet & very dry conditions.

      When Michelin entered F1 in 2001 they didn’t really have a wet range that could compete until 2003 & actually it was felt by the end of 2003 that the Michelin intermediate was the better tire which forced Bridgestone to come up with an inter that was even better for 2004.

      That was actually one of the benefits of the ‘tire war’ that often gets ignored, The competition pushed the suppliers involved into producing better & better wet tires as you couldn’t simply rest on having a good tire in that moment as you knew the competition could have something better in the pipeline.

      If Pirelli had entered F1 in 2011 in competition with Bridgestone the wet tires wouldn’t have remained a weak point for very long as they would have had to put a far greater focus into improving them than they have. For drivers to have the same complaints with the wet range more than a decade after Pirelli entered F1 should be something that Pirelli should be embarrassed about & I know it’s something teams & drivers have been deeply frustrated & angered by given how little has actually been improved over the past decade.

  2. Has Romain even tested current 18″ F1 rubber, much less in the wet?

    1. Bigger garbage is still garbage, pirelli provides trash and keep the tender by bribing the FIA

    2. @proesterchen Not to my knowledge, but he’s seemingly right, nevertheless.

  3. Wait.. what… F1 has a wet weather tyre?

    1. Who knows. They put a red flag out as soon as it starts spitting these days.

      1. This comment me happy because it made me laugh… and then sad because I realised its true.

        1. + 1. Sure is.

  4. It was already revealed that the 2010 Bridgestone inters displaced more water than the 2016 pirelli full wet trash. Pirelli have always provided garbage to F1 and it has never had anything to do with FIA or F1 requests, it has always been due to pirelli incompetence.

  5. Meh.. the real news is Pirelli introducing new spec tyre from Silverstone this year. (Not wets by the way)

    1. @davedai The compounds will be the same, They are just beefing up the construction to be able to better cope with the increasing loads they are seeing cars put into them.

      1. Then I stand corrected. I knew they were onto increased speeds= load issue. Thought it was compound as well Thanks.

  6. Hamda Al Qubaisi’s comeback from injury is pretty impressive given the short turnaround. She posted a really interesting video on Instagram recently showing the crash, her injury (x-rays, etc) and her rehabilitation. That she’s a front runner with minimal use of this hand is amazing. I can see her getting to F2 at minimum.

  7. Maybe it’s not just the tyres.
    Indycar has far better cars

    1. Well yeah, Formula 1 cars are sensitive to anything these days. It wouldn’t be surprising if they had to change set-up due to too much sunlight.

  8. Admittedly, Grosjean’s reference about wet tyres is probably indeed the case.
    I assume the same is also true for other series, such as Super Formula, Super GT, WEC, etc.

    So Sainz went in that exhibition again after having already been there during the Jeddah-Melbourne interval when it opened, so before travelling to Melbourne.
    Nevertheless, that wreckage indeed looks shocking & reminds everyone of danger that’ll always remain existent.

    An interesting take in the COTD, which I’ve never encountered or noted referenced.
    Miami GP (& LV GP, for that matter) isn’t in my attending plans anyway, so ultimately, zero concern for me.
    The events I’ve attended so far didn’t give me such feeling, which is good.

    1. @jerejj

      Admittedly, Grosjean’s reference about wet tyres is probably indeed the case.
      I assume the same is also true for other series, such as Super Formula, Super GT, WEC, etc.

      When Andre Lotterer had that one off driver in the Caterham at Spa in 2014 he was pretty scathing about the Pirelli’s (Wet & Dry tires) when comparing them to the Michelin’s he raced in WEC (And had driven in F1 previously) & the Bridgestone’s he raced in Super Formula.

      I think he said something to the effect of them been the worst tires he’d ever driven on a race car.

      1. The Caterham wasn’t exactly the perfect reference point though, was it….
        Compare the tyres fitted to the current Red Bull, versus the ones on the current Williams or Sauber… They’re approximately the same but the drivers wouldn’t entirely feel that, given the multitude and magnitude of other variables.

        It’s really incredible that so many people believe they can accurately directly compare tyres 10+ years apart, or even completely different constructions and compounds – across multiple technical categories of car, no less.

        The biggest problem with F1 tyres is constant – it is F1 itself. Teams will always design a car to exceed the performance of any given tyre, because that is the optimum way to extract maximum performance from it. The other constant is that the teams will then eternally complain about the tyres not being good enough as a result.

    2. IndyCar has always had very good tires, wet or dry. A common remark from drivers that have been in F1.

  9. Well it’s Pirelli, so there’s that.
    The main issue isn’t the tyre, it’s the amount of waterspray, so races gets red flagged before the wet tyre can even become a problem. But okay.. in Indycar they hardly run on wets anyway as ovals gets red flagged as well and if it is a street race or road someone with too little talent is bound to wound up in the wall.

    Guess wetweather racing is near extinct – my favourite kind of racing.

  10. Pirelli: surprised Pikachu face

    1. But, seriously, the Pirelli tyres, be it dry or wet tires, have been embarrassing, either their tyres wear so much that everyone has to save tires, or they are too durable and easily last a whole race distance

  11. It’s thin line between…
    “For a couple of races now it’s been challenging to overtake,” he said. “For sure, Baku wasn’t the most exciting race in the world. But there are a number of factors for that, but there should never be a knee-jerk reaction, but we were all talking about this issue prior to the race in Baku, and then the race obviously went on to be as dull as we all expected.
    “It’s challenging for everybody,” he admitted. “Obviously, we’re pushing Pirelli to deliver a good tyre, a consistent tyre and when it is difficult, you know, the drivers, myself included, we don’t like it. But in an ideal world, you have a very strong tyre, which at a certain point falls off the cliff and means you have to do a few more pit stops and gives it some different opportunities in the races. But yeah, I’m not too sure really.”

Comments are closed.