‘RACING FOR JULES: Marussia driver Max Chilton (Centre), poses with a banner reading 'Racing for Jules' at the 2014 Russian GP. Marussia may have to replace injured Jules Bianchi at the upcoming 2014 US GP on November 2. Image: AP
LONDON, England - Formula 1 drivers are calling on Pirelli, the sport's sole tyre supplier, to improve its wet-weather offering.
Jules Bianchi lost control of his Marussia in rain during the 2014 Japanese GP at Suzuka. The rain reduced grip levels as many drivers opted for 'intermediate' tyres.
Mercedes driver and 2014 championship leader Lewis Hamilton said drivers often preferred to run on such tyres when the track was wet because the 'full wet' Pirelli was much slower.
HAMILTON, VETTEL CONCERNED
Hamilton was quoted by the UK's Daily Mail as saying: "It is no secret that they are not the greatest wet tyres that I have known. The slicks will always be improved, but I guess not so much focus gets put on the wet.
"You want a tyre that clears the water but does not force us to go to the intermediate when it is so much quicker, and when it is probably not safe enough to do so."
Reigning F1 champion Sebastian Vettel reported that the drivers' concerns had been passed on to Pirelli. He added that he had raised the issue in the pre-race briefing at the 2014 Russian GP in early October 2014.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
Vettel said: "It's definitely something we've passed on, not just after Japan. As soon as you've got rid of most of the water (with the full wet tyres) you try to put the intermediate on, taking a lot of risk into account, just because it's the quicker tyre.
"That's something we need to work on."