Max Verstappen’s dad has attacked Pirelli and the FIA for ‘ruining’ races for other drivers after controversial events at the Monaco Grand Prix. He warned Pirelli ‘must ensure’ their wet weather tyres can better deal with heavy rain after a brief shower saw the race delayed by an hour.
Father Jos also hit out at the FIA for throwing red flags too quickly after minor incidents. In qualifying, the session was suspended after minor debris from Yuki Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri scattered the track on Saturday.
Speaking on his online blog, Jos Verstappen said: “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 competition days with Bridgestone and Michelin. Also, red flags come out very quickly these days. Tsunoda hit the crash barrier with his left front wheel in qualifying and a red flag was waved immediately. You are ruining it for the other drivers.”
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The former Benetton star is not the first to complain about the FIA’s handling of the Monaco Grand Prix. Several team principals have also spoken out after the FIA delayed the race for up to an hour after a heavy rain shower moments before the start.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said it was ‘not clear’ why the race did not begin on time and suggested teams should ask race directors for a ‘reason’. Red Bull Christian Horner also hit back at the FIA, claiming the race should have been started on time and allowed teams to react to the weather as best they could.
He explained: “I think that needs a bit of a review because it was a little chaotic, with tyres coming on the grid, off the grid. It’s a busy enough grid here, and it’s always a little dangerous to try and pre-empt the weather.
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“You can argue it both ways. You could say we would have been better starting the race and then reacting to the downpour, and either putting the safety car out or stopping the race, but I think it needs a bit of a review after this weekend.”
The FIA’s official explanation for the wet weather delay was for safety concerns. However, rumours suggest the real reason was down to a power cut moments before the start which affected TV facilities and lights on the starting gantry.
The FIA said: “Race Control was monitoring a severe downpour that was rapidly approaching the circuit. As it arrived during the start procedure, the SC start and its associated procedures were implemented. This was done for safety reasons in consideration of no wet running this weekend.”