One thing I have disliked to NO END, starting from the 2009/2010 seasons, is how the FIA is more than happy to red flag wet weather races, delay qualifying or call out the safety cars in wet races.
Worse still is in MOST these cases, the cars get on intermediates within 10-15 minutes (if not earlier) of the session’s restart. We saw this happen AGAIN yesterday.
I started watching F1 in 2003, and I believe in all the years from then to 2009, I only saw one red flag/suspension…Brazil 2003. We had the terrible monsoon race in Fuji, and the one where Hamilton masterfully overtook the whole filed up to P3 by a lap in Silverstone. I believe, both these races would have been red flagged if they were to happen today.
Am I alone in feeling the FIA is taking things way too conservatively? What is the reason for their shift in attitude to wet races? For example, I am fine by Malaysia 2009 being suspended. But many races since there, red flags have been mightily questionable, so much so I believe F1 might as well do away with wet tyres.
I know…one driver spins. Then another. Then they all start complaining of “treacherous” conditions. I mean, abuden? In those trying conditions, they should SLOW DOWN and drive as slowly as possible. If you spin, it’s your fault. All wet weather greats made a name for themselves for willing to take risks in such conditions.
Sadly, I believe we shall never see a wet weather great anymore. Maybe moist-meisters (like Button), yes. But not those in the mold of Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton who multiple times crushed the opposition in full wet-weather races. Also, I believe under today’s circumstances, full wet-weather races would be a thing of the past.
Agree, it’s too conservative with wet weather. No point in full wet tires anymore. Too many things wrong with F1. Too many penalties for “Causing a collision”, stupid DRS, poorly made Pirelli tires. (they can’t be pushed hard)
I actually thin kthe FIA beign conservative is because the Pirelli wet tyres are shit. Look@ any wet quali or race. No traction
I do think that Pirelli’s wet weather tyres, which are clearly inferior to Bridgestone, play some part in this. In Korea 2010 cars spend 17 laps behind the safety car, around only 13 laps later, the track was ready for inters. The stewards have gradually became more and more cowardly in that aspect. At Fuji 2007 and Silverstone 2008 the conditions were exponentially worse than yesterday, yet the latter did not even have a safety car involved, whereas today we would get an immediate red flag.
Canada 2011 – the stewards did not restart the race until it was ready for inters.
Pirelli themselves said their wets are too far away from the inters i.e. more like an extreme wet, and in the drying to inters phase the tyres probably go off (overheat). If they had testing they could improve it, and already will be doing for next year based off Brazil. But the FIA’s delays are just to save face. If they let the cars go racing again and there was a bad accident, they would be held responsible. So, better to leave it until visibility is a lot better and puddles virtually gone. Perhaps next year visibility could be better in the wet, with the loss of coanda exhausts, beam wings, smaller front wing etc. as the more wake, the more spray? Brundle called it on Sky in that if Perez hadn’t crashed, then Q3 would’ve started, the first run would have decided it, then the second run would have been in worse conditions.
It has to be said some research into what made the FIA stewarding so conservative since around 2009 would be welcome! Maybe it was indeed Malaysia 2009, when after starting the race one hour later than usual, for Bernie’s TV wishes, it was called off after the monsoon came in as usual and then it got too dark for further running.
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© Keith Collantine 2014 • Disclaimer
© 2014 Keith Collantine