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Raikkonen believes Pirelli’s extreme-wet tyres are simply not good enough after crashing out of the Brazilian GP.

The 2007 world champion was running third on Lap 20 at Interlagos when he lost control on the pit straight and smashed into the outside wall before rebounding across the track, narrowly avoiding other cars.

Raikkonen was among a number of drivers who aquaplaned at that part of the track, with Grosjean, Massa and Ericsson crashing out on the hill climb towards the start-finish line. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso all survived high-speed spins.

Raikkonen believes the standard of wet-weather tyres has worsened over the last decade, suggesting it is too easy to lose control on the current rubber.

Per Autosport (h/t Eurosport), he said:

These tyres are very vulnerable, very easy to aquaplane.

Obviously it depends on the circuit, on many things, but if I’m comparing it to 10 years ago or 12 years ago, those tyres could handle this kind of water with no issues, no aquaplaning.

The aquaplaning is the big issue. It looks like if you have a little bit of standing water there’s zero grip.

Raikkonen’s thoughts were echoed by Ericsson, who suffered a similar accident just eight laps before the Ferrari driver in a race interrupted by several safety-car periods and red-flag stoppages.

Per the same source, the Sauber driver said: 

For some reason in the last couple of years, when there is standing water on tracks, we are struggling a lot to drive, whereas 10 years back people were driving in these conditions without a problem.

There is a lot of room for improvement on the wet tyres because in the corners they are good, but it’s just on the straights when there is standing water we should be able to go through that.

It was raining, but it wasn’t torrential. We should be able to race without red flags and safety cars, we’ve done that in the past, but now it’s not possible because of the aquaplaning on standing water.

So there is a big challenge that they [Pirelli] need to sort out so we can go through standing water without drivers losing the car and becoming a passenger.

You can be lucky, like Max, and you keep it out of the wall.

Or you can be unlucky like me, Kimi, Romain and Massa. We all crashed more or less in the same place, where it is pretty much not a corner, so for me that is the disappointing thing.

Grosjean failed to even start the race after crashing on the reconnaissance lap, with the Haas driver referring to the extreme-wets as “very poor tyres” that force the drivers to take huge risks.

The drivers’ unflattering comments come despite Pirelli holding a two-day wet-tyre test in January, with Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren-Honda providing cars to assist the Italian manufacturer’s development.

The test, which took place at the Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille, France, was held with the aim of producing a tyre to increase grip and reduce aquaplaning in wet conditions, per the official F1 website.



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