Verstappen offers to help Pirelli improve wet weather tyre

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Max Verstappen has volunteered to help Pirelli improve its rain tyre, insisting the current extremes are too slow and "can't carry a lot of water".

In Japan last weekend, for the second race in succession, Pirelli's wet weather product was put to the test in merciless conditions, especially at the start of the race which was eventually red flagged after three laps due to the track conditions and poor visibility.

When the race resumed, Verstappen powered off into the distance in master-class fashion, never to be seen again by his rivals.

But while the Red Bull charger, who clinched his second world title at Suzuka, made a mockery of the treacherous conditions thanks to his wet boots, he still considers that F1 needs a better extreme wet tyre.

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"I didn’t want to take a dig out of everyone but I think we need better rain tyres," he said after last Sunday's race. "If you saw what we could do in the ‘90s or the early 2000s, with the amount of water on the track…

"We need better rain tyres because I think the extremes are just slow and they can’t really carry a lot of water away.

"That’s why everyone always tries to switch very quickly to an intermediate because it’s just so much faster per lap, like you could see from one to the other lap, we went from the extreme to the inter and we immediately went five seconds at least faster and that is just too big.

"And that’s why nobody really wants to run that extreme. And when it rained like it did when the red flag came out and you would have put extreme tyres on, I think it would still be really difficult to drive.

"But then if you compare that to 20 years ago, that would have been perfectly fine. So there must be a solution."

To help Pirelli develop a better product for adverse track conditions, Verstappen said that he would happily take part in a test programme with F1's exclusive tyre supplier.

"Like I said, this is not criticism because I’m very happy to help out," he said. "We should look into it.

Maybe we can just organise more tests days in the wet and work together, to try and find better tyres to at least have an opportunity to really drive in the wet and not always only drive like two laps on an extreme, switch to intermediate and call it a wet race because a wet race is also normally driven with heavy rain."

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