Drivers and team personnel were troubled yesterday by the wet conditions at Interlagos and reportedly tried to call off Friday's qualifying session. This was due to the rule introduced by the FIA at the beginning of this year that tyre...
Drivers and team personnel were troubled yesterday by the wet conditions at Interlagos and reportedly tried to call off Friday's qualifying session. This was due to the rule introduced by the FIA at the beginning of this year that tyre manufacturers can only supply one type of wet weather tyre per race. Michelin and Bridgestone opted for intermediates and were dismayed to be confronted with yesterday's downpour.McLaren's David Coulthard put together a petition which was signed by several drivers, stating they were against qualifying in such conditions: "It was really about safety issues," said Coulthard, although the session went ahead anyway. "The drivers wanted to express concerns and show a united front about qualifying in the wet but that wasn't the case."
"It was just a united view to take to Charlie (Whiting, race director). We trust him to make the right decision, but we've got 20 drivers driving a Grand Prix. It just gives him an idea of our thoughts, but it was necessary. It was there had we had to qualify in the wet."
"It was really just to assist Charlie and those who make the decision as to the real conditions from the drivers' point of view. But ultimately is wasn't an issue and you know if the same situation arises in the future I think it is responsible of us to give the same advice to him and allow him to make the decision."
There is now a call to allow two types of wet weather tyres for race weekends, which will no doubt be discussed at next week's meeting of team bosses and the FIA. One driver, however, was not amused by the petition and said people would start thinking F1 drivers are 'a bunch of sissies'.
"I never saw the petition and if I had I would not have signed it," stated Jacques Villeneuve. "What would it bring to Formula One for us not to go and qualify? People would think that we are just a bunch of sissies."
"We can't do that. We are paid a whole lot of money and it would be an insult to the fans. Formula One has been hurting for the past couple of years and it's very important for us to give a show and go out there and drive. Sure, there is a little risk in those conditions, but not enough not to drive. If you think it is too dangerous then drive slowly."