Kimi Raikkonen sceptical over new wets after Pirelli F1 tyre test
By James Roberts and Ian Parkes
Kimi Raikkonen was left unconvinced by Pirelli's alternative wet-weather tyres as Formula 1 returned to action in 2016.
Pirelli is conducting a two-day tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France as it seeks to improve its full-wet compound, notably with regard to its aquaplaning performance.
Although Pirelli tried out different variations of the tyre, and with the test blind for participating teams Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, Raikkonen felt there was little sign of an improvement over 2015.
Running last year's SF15-T, without modification as per the rules for the test, and completing 99 laps overall, Raikkonen said: "We can learn from this.
"We are not usually so happy in the wet conditions, so it helps to understand more.
"Here it's as good a wet-tyre test as you can get because it was similar conditions all the time. If we can help Pirelli then it's useful for us, so it was OK.
"I think we preferred last year's tyres, but it's too early to say."
Raikkonen was joined on track by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull and McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, who completed 99 and 87 laps respectively.
With the circuit's sprinkler system in operation and deployed regularly during the day to ensure continuity in conditions, Vandoorne feels the test was useful.
"After the first three set-up runs, once the tyre testing started then every time we had a consistent track, which is the main focus, especially when you do tyre testing," said Vandoorne.
"In the beginning some parts of the track were not wet enough, but then they did a good job to wet it.
"Obviously some parts of the track were also too wet, so it was difficult, a bit too much aquaplaning sometimes, but after a few laps everything was fine again."
As to the feel of the tyres, Vandoorne added: "We adjusted the different specs, which felt very similar, although we didn't know what they were as it is a blind test.
"It was about giving information as to how the tyres react, and Pirelli did a decent job.
"In testing different specs some were better than others, which is usual in tyre testing."
Pelo que parece, Kimi ainda preferiu os pneus do ano passado nestas condições de muita água, mas como são os primeiros testes, eles levarão outras coisas em consideração.
Abaixo um pouco do que ele falou no texto acima, além de responder sobre as expectativas para a temporada 2016.