Sebastian Vettel said that the aerodynamics and tires on a current-day F1 car make it impossible to race in wet conditions.
After the Belgian GP was abandoned after 3 laps under the Safety Car, comparisons were made to the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, where despite 19 laps behind the Safety Car, the race eventually got underway and ran through to the checkered flag, leading to suggestions that F1 has become too concerned with safety, hampering racing. However, the Aston Martin driver thinks that current cars are undrivable in wet.
“I think the cars have changed. I think there’s significantly more ground effect with the cars that we have now and more downforce. We seem to suck more water off the ground,” Vettel said.
“And then the tires have changed as well. I think the extreme wet tires that we had, I remember those days made it easier for us to race in very, very wet conditions with a lot of water on the track.
Fernando Alonso has supported his former rival as well as emphasized the characteristics of Spa-Francorchamps as one of the reasons why the Belgian GP was called off.
“Tires is the biggest thing that changed over the years. I think the cars, for whatever reason, or the new aerodynamic rules, they have more spray when you are running behind people, and our tires are wider now than what they were in 2007,” he commented.
“Probably the extreme tires were a little bit stronger back then. Maybe the size of the tire was helping for the aquaplaning.
“Plus there is the nature of the circuit. I think Spa being at that high speed, with these long straights, the spray was holding there for a long time.
“So I think the conditions were not suitable to race. It was [only] a matter of time that a big accident could happen. And I think the FIA wanted to avoid that. That was the right call. Giving the points, this is a different thing. I totally disagree with that. But the conditions to not race, I totally agree.”