Hamilton & Vettel want better wet weather tyres after Bianchi crash
Following the shock accident of Jules Bianchi, both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have called for better wet-weather tyres, to make it safer if the drivers have to race in the rain.
Hamilton, who currently leads the Drivers’ Championship by 17 points and is odds-on at 1/5 to win the title, said: “They’re not great tyres. That’s no secret. There’s always going to be spray but we need to work hard.
“It’s an area that’s not always focused on so much. The slicks are always being improved and worked on but there is not so much focus on the wet,” continued the British driver, who complained about Mercedes’ tyres last season after the Spanish Grand Prix.
“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.”
Vettel, who is 66/1 to win the next Grand Prix in America, agrees with former sparring partner Hamilton.
“If you have a lot of water, you obviously need to have a tyre that gets rid of a lot of water very well so you don’t suffer aquaplaning,” said the German four-time champion.
“The problem we have is that the extreme tyre has an extremely narrow window. The intermediate is quicker so as soon as you have got rid of most of the water you try to put the inters on, taking a lot of risk into account, just because it’s a quicker tyre. That’s something we need to work on.”
Paul Hembery, who is director of motorsport at tyre company Pirelli, wasn’t convinced of this problem’s urgency, though would consider change.
“These are comments by drivers that have not been made in an official way to us.
“Of course, if Pirelli was requested by the teams and the FIA to reconsider the technical capability of the wet tyre, Pirelli would do it immediately.
“But so far Pirelli does not see any realistic technical need to change the wet tyre,” he continued.
“There is a working group coming up quite soon and it is quite likely this will be considered there. And if it is, we are open to the idea of modifying the tyres.
“Every change we make has a deep technical basis and does not just follow comments from one person, as not everyone has the same view.”