Formula 1 drivers describe tires as ‘bad to drive’ at Interlagos

Formula 1 drivers describe tires as ‘bad to drive’ at Interlagos

While race winners Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were able to start at the front, the middle group was determined by DRS trains and high levels of lift and launch to control tire wear and temperatures.

All but three of the riders started Saturday’s 24-lap race on soft tyres, while the three intermediate finishers (both Haas cars and Williams’ Logan Sargeant) complained of similarly poor wear at the halfway mark.

The complaints were led by Williams driver Alex Albon, who opined that the tires were “bad to drive” and the hard compound was unusable – and added that both elements were recurring features of the hottest races.

After climbing four places to 15th, he said: “It looked like scraps everywhere. It was a slow race.

“(The decline) is enormous. Honestly, it feels terrible to drive.

“I think everyone must be bad because the pace wasn’t actually that bad but the race wasn’t good for me. So, it’s tough.

“It seems strange because obviously when you have this grade, you think everyone should have used harder tyres. But the hard tires are so bad here that you have to use the soft tires because they have grip to begin with.

“These tires are not good. You have to spin them a lot.”

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, Zhu Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargent, Williams FW45

Photography: Simon Galloway/Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, Zhu Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargent, Williams FW45

Albon believes this is also the case in Mexico, Qatar, the United States and in qualifying.

“There’s a lot of heat, especially when we get to hotter climates and tough tracks with high temperatures,” he continued. “Those old Tarmac tracks tend to really wear down the tires.

“It’s like we’re walking around, it’s just a (management) race.

“We’ve been using these tires for a long time, so I don’t think much will change.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photography: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Lewis Hamilton believes he has never experienced such severe degradation at the Sao Paulo circuit, while AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo has placed some blame on the actual track surface.

After his ninth-place finish, the Australian said: “The track was very strange, obviously with the tires as well. This asphalt here is bad. It’s disgusting.

But Ferrari racer Charles Leclerc believes the tire problems were in line with previous seasons. “It has always been the case that in the hotter races we suffer more from overheating,” he said.

“So, I don’t feel like the situation is particularly bad this year compared to other years. It’s very similar.

“I’ve been struggling as much as I have for the past few years in terms of overheating and managing it. But that’s always the case.”

Additional reporting by Adam Cooper

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