Get a grip, Pirelli, say F1 drivers, after rain delays 2022 Monaco GP

Verstappen and Vettel respond to Monaco race delay, claiming it would not have happened in previous years

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

It’s always sunny on the French Riviera – except when there’s a cloudburst just when you want to start a motor race

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The Monaco race start was delayed by almost an hour as radars were showing an imminent rain storm shortly after the scheduled 3pm start. Although it was merely drizzling at 3pm and the race could have started, FIA race control decided to allow the storm to pass before starting it behind a safety car.

These days it seems that everyone at race control gets stressed at the first sight of a few drops of rain, said an unimpressed Jos Verstappen. Sure, it would have been a chaotic start and the teams would have been in doubt as to which tyre would have been the best option. But that is what people want to see. Now we get starts behind the safety car, which in my view takes the edge off.

I also find it incredible to see how little grip the drivers have on the full wets. This is not new during the last race but has been going on for a long time. Something should be done about it. They must ensure that the tyres can cope with three centimetres of water. We used to be able to do that too, back in the tyre competition days with Bridgestone and Michelin.

F1 Grand Prix van Monaco, RACE”F1 Grand Prix van Monaco”

The safety car and Charles Leclerc

The characteristics of the Pirelli full wet tyre were indeed at the centre of the decision to delay. Sebastian Vettel has long been critical of the performance of this tyre and was so again here: In rainy weather, we know that the current cars have a lot of aquaplaning. Pirelli hasn’t worked on this subject for years and everyone knows it. So we have to wait until it stops raining to be able to launch a race. I remember the days when we could have driven here in the rain with no problem with this amount of water, but with these tyres it is impossible. Looking at them, the ‘extreme wet’ looks good but in fact they’re useless. As soon as you can switch to intermediate, you do it straight away.