The final day of testing in Barcelona this week was reserved for wet-weather testing and Pirelli, having soaked the track with water, are feeling better about their wet-weather tires on offer for 2017.
It is difficult to keep a consistent amount of water on the track and perhaps that played into Romain Grosjean’s assessment of the situation but on the face of it, things look better than last year when the driver were very critical of the wet-weather tires.
“It is quite interesting, the wet,” he said. “There is a lot of progress made from last year.
“We haven’t had too much overheating with the rear and the temperature is staying in. The warm-up was OK-ish.
“The intermediates are really good for one lap and then they get destroyed a bit too early, so some work is to be done.
“But generally it’s a good step from where we ended up last year.”
The Intermediate tires may need a review or it could be that the track just wasn’t consistently wet enough to keep the tires cool. In fairness to Pirelli, that seems to be supported by Nico Hulkenberg’s comments on the situation.
“It wasn’t the most efficient I think, but we tried at least,” he said.
“We didn’t do that much running because they had to wet the track and it really dried pretty quickly, so was straight into inter conditions.
“I went out one run on full wets and one run on inters to see how the car reacts and it went quite OK and I was happy with that.
“But obviously it’s early in the season and it is always a bit of a risk for teams.
“We don’t have that many spare parts and it is always a balance.
“We couldn’t test very deeply regarding aquaplaning, so I think we will find out during a race weekend.”
Williams will miss the rain-simulated running completely as Lance Stroll has damaged the chassis of he car and the team have decided to pack it in and wait for the next test on March 7. That’s brutal because the team will not have any data on the new wet-weather tires.
There was considerable criticism of last year’s wet-weather tires on offer and Pirelli were keen to bring a much improved version in 2017. The track dried out but will be soaked again during lunch and the teams will continue their wet-weather tire testing in the afternoon.
Hat Tip: Autosport