Date published: November 9 2018
The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) will meet at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix with Pirelli tyres likely to dominate conversation.
There have been several complaints about Pirelli tyres in recent weeks with Valtteri Bottas stating last month that drivers are forced to “cruise” around in order to preserve their tyres.
And with more issues in Mexico, where drivers told their teams after just a handful of laps that the tyres were falling off, they now want to discuss possible ways forward.
“We have not had a meeting in a while,” explained Daniel Ricciardo. “We have GPDA tomorrow. It is a topic we are going to bring up.
“I think ideally the less pit stops you can do in a race normally the better your strategy is going to be, or the quicker your race time is going to be.
“If we feel we can get by on one stop we will drive to the pace of a one-stop, and that is normally better than pushing for a two-stop. This year for whatever reason that has been the way the compounds have been set up at the races. It is just managing a one-stop and that is a quicker race.
“I don’t think anyone ever seems to be satisfied. They wanted a tyre we could race on harder for longer, and now we are nearly getting that. I don’t know how to have a tyre we can push hard on, that is going to degrade so we can still do a two or three stop, we will just drive slower like we are doing now.
“If we push hard on this tyre from the start, we’d do a two-stop instead of a one. But the drivers see that cruising on a one-stop is going to be quicker, so we are doing what is best for the strategy.”
Tyres, though, aren’t the only thing up for discussion.
GPDA director Romain Grosjean says he’s also worried about the ever-widening gap between the top three teams and those behind.
“It’s not only tyres,” said Grosjean. “I don’t want to speak for everyone else, but I feel like we need to give our feedback and maybe try to do a bit more because the races aren’t fun.
“P6 in Mexico is two laps down? How do you hope to see a midfield car on the podium if they are one or two laps down?
“The delta between the big teams and the small teams is too big.
“Plus the tyres being so complicated to understand, to drive, if you don’t have the downforce you destroy them and you open the gap again.”
He added: “If we get to somewhere where everyone is happy with what we have discussed, then we should move them forward to you guys, to Liberty or whoever.
“[It’s important] we don’t sit back and don’t do anything for the sport we love.”