Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have both urged tyre supplier Pirelli to improve its extreme wet rubber at Grands Prix. At the Japanese Grand Prix, teams utilised the green-walled Intermediate tyre despite standing water and spray at Suzuka out of a fear of using the blue extreme wet tyre, which has warm-up issues and is deemed not fit to use. Only when the FIA required the use of the extreme tyres did the drivers fit them, although they were quickly abandoned when the race resumed after the two-hour delay. With the Singapore Grand Prix also run in similar conditions – whereby teams avoided the wet tyre at all costs and the event had the start-time pushed back an hour – two-time World Champion Verstappen and Leclerc both called for Pirelli to improve its product.
Verstappen wants better wet tyres
"I don't want to take a dig out of anyone, but I think we need better rain tyres," Verstappen explained to media. "If you saw what we could do in the 1990s or the early 2000s, with the amount of water on the track [there is a big difference to today]. "I'm very happy to have a few test days, and try all different kinds of tyres, but we need better rain tyres. "The extremes are just slow, and they can't really carry a lot of water away. That's why everyone always tries to switch very quickly to the Intermediate because it's just so much faster over a lap. "You could see from one lap to the next, we went from the extreme to the Inter today, and we went to nearly five seconds faster and that is just too big. "That's why nobody really wants to run the extreme. And when it rained like it did when the red flag came out, you would have put extreme tyres on, I think it would still be really difficult to drive. "But then if you compare that to 20 years ago, that would have been perfectly fine. So there must be criticism because I'm very happy to help out and I really should look into it. "Maybe we can just organise more tests in the wet and work together [with Pirelli] to try and find better tyres to at least have an opportunity to really drive in the wet and not always only drive like two laps on an extreme, switch to Intermediate and call it a wet race, because a wet race is also normally driven with heavy rain."
For his part, Leclerc spoke about the visibility – or lack thereof – from the 2022 cars in the rain, through the spray kicked up. "I think a big problem of these of these cars is just the visibility," the Monegasque explained. "So whatever we can do to try and improve the visibility, and minimise the spray, especially behind the cars, this will be hugely beneficial because I believe that sometimes we can actually run for the conditions of the track. "But just because of the visibility, because it's so dangerous being behind and you don't see anything that we don't we end up running at all. "We should try and find a solution to try and minimise the spray."