They may have lost the championship title to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, but the McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were quickest on P Zero Blue intermediate today ahead of the Korean Grand Prix.
It was tough going for tyres at the Yeongam circuit because the rain left a lot of water on the track, which, because it hasn’t been used since last years race, made the surface extremely ‘green’ and slippery, with no rubber being laid down.
Added to this, ambient temperatures of 19 degrees centigrade also meant that the drivers struggled to get heat into their tyres.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “The teams were given an extra set of intermediate tyres today, which along with the wet tyres performed well: there was a low wear rate that will enable them to do 20 laps or more in these conditions.
“After some of the drivers attempted to go out on the slick tyres this afternoon, it became clear that the track was just too wet to learn anything meaningful from them, particularly as the surface was slippery here even before it started raining.
“We’ve also seen that the circuit takes a long time to dry out, because of the characteristics of the asphalt and the lack of elevation.
“The initial indications are that tomorrow should be drier, so it’s certainly a handicap not to have had any dry running today. However, it’s the same for everybody and these are simply the challenges that form part of racing.
“Tomorrow, we hope to learn more about the performance of our slick compounds on this demanding track.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team