After the Mexican Grand Prix, we reviewed the race on our podcast and asked the question, “what exactly is it that’s not working on these full-wet tires”? Was it the lack of grip or ability to generate enough heat for some sort of grip level or was it something more grievous such as they aren’t channeling enough water which is what rain tire is supposed to do?
James Allen did a nice piece on his website about this very question. It turns out that the efficacy of a Formula 1 rain tire used to be down to miles and miles of testing tread patterns and compounds and a lot more downforce. With the reduction in both testing and downforce, the tires aren’t channeling enough water and are prone to aquaplaning.
I won’t cut and paste James’s piece so go here and check it out, it’s a nice insight into why the teams and drivers and even Pirelli have a right to be concerned over the full-wet compounds. IT makes sense that a lack of downforce and testing would deliver this result but the bigger question may be the 2017 versions and James addresses that as well.
Hat Tip: James Allen on F1