SportF1Pirelli defends its rain tires against Vettel and Jos...

Pirelli defends its rain tires against Vettel and Jos Verstappen

The new 18-inch extreme rain tires were in the spotlight at the Monaco GP last year after several drivers were unimpressed with how they handled in the downpour of the race.

Sebastian Vettel criticized them again: “The winger is too slow, it’s the wrong tyre. It’s too hard for this track, but it’s also too hard for tracks like Imola. It’s just a poor tyre.”

Max Verstappen’s father, Jos , also commented: “I also find it incredible to see how little grip the drivers have on the extreme wet tyres. This is not new in the last race [Monaco], but has been going on for a long time. Something should be done about it.”

But Pirelli’s director of F1 and motorsport, Mario Isola , believes that judging the performance of wet tires by their performance in Monaco is premature.

The company is limited to a single extreme rain compound for the entire season, which means it has to find a balance and produce a tire that is suitable for high-speed, high-downforce tracks, but also works on slower tracks such as Monaco, so may not be ideal in all circumstances.

“Wet tires are always difficult to understand,” said Isola, when asked by about criticism from Vettel and Jos Verstappen.

“I think Monaco is not the right track to do a proper evaluation of the wet tyres. We only have one compound for the wet and one for the intermediate tyre, and it has to work everywhere: 22/23 different circuits. So we have to find the best compromise.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Furthermore, Isola suggests that it is a mistake for teams and drivers to be unhappy with Pirelli products, when the company receives so little assistance when it comes to wet testing to help improve its products.

“We don’t have many opportunities to test the wet and intermediate tyres,” he explained. “We recently did a test with Ferrari at Fiorano and at the moment it is the only test that is scheduled for this year in order to develop a better product for next year.

“We are working together with the FIA and the teams to find additional team availability, but if we don’t have the possibility to test the tyres, we don’t have the possibility to develop them.

“So first of all I would like to wait for other wet races to understand if and where we need to develop this product.”

“Also, if you remember the pre-season tests in Barcelona, we decided to wet the track for half a day to give the teams the possibility to test the new product, and very little was done with the extreme wet tire. They were more focused on the intermediate “.

“We need to do tests, otherwise we cannot develop a new tire for the future. And we have to evaluate the performance of the tires well to react”, concluded Isola.

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