The lack of wet-weather running by teams on Friday during practice at Silverstone was criticised by several people in the F1 paddock after it left drenched fans staring at empty stretches of track for their troubles.

"I think it's a real, real shame to be honest that they're just sitting there and we're not going out," Lewis Hamilton told TV reporters as he wandered up and down pit lane during the practice sessions rather than being able to go out and run the car on track.

Hamilton explained that his inactivity was certainly not down to idleness on his part and that he was as frustrated as the fans.

"The problem is we don't have enough tyres and the drainage here is not that great at the track so there's lot of standing water," he said. "If we had more tyres, I think a lot more people would be out. It's a shame it's not mandatory that we have to go out."

"It was wet," agreed Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen. "It's a shame we don't have more wet tyres to be able to get more track time, but if it's going to rain for the whole weekend then everybody tries to save their allocation."

"We have terrible guilt for the fans in not running," agreed Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fearnley. "We obviously feel very very guilty that we're not out there running for the spectators but on the other hand, we don't gain anything from it."

Fernley differed from Hamilton and Raikkonen's assertions that more tyres would make a difference, however.

"Even if we'd had the tyres we wouldn't have run," he said. "The risk to reward is the wrong ratio for us, and it was more of a precautious programme than it is by taking unnecessary risks."

But certainly the difficulty of making just three sets of wet tyres last the entire weekend if the entire Grand prix is a washout was a major consideration, and Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery indicated that he'd be open to investigating the matter further with teams to see if there was anything that could be done.

"Together with the teams we can certainly look at some solutions to encourage more running under these circumstances in future such as allocating more tyres," Hembery said. "But everybody would have to agree to this as we're not in a position to make the tyre rules ourselves.

"It's a pity for the fans who didn't get to see much running today," he agreed.

With the British Grand Prix set to run for 52 laps, a single set of wet tyres would be able to cover the entire race distance, Hembery estimated.

"If we end up using the wet tyres in the race, one set of full wet tyres has a predicted life of around 60 laps," he said. Wet weather would also remove the need for teams to come in for the usual mandatory pit stop and to change between the two different dry weather compounds available to them.

"With the British summer weather at its best, we could be facing our first full wet weekend from start to finish, without running the dry tyres at all," agreed Hembery. "A few drivers tried the intermediate at the end of the second session in order to have some idea of crossover points, which are likely to be one of the keys to the strategy."

Hembery added that while he understood teams not coming out for too much running on Friday, some wet weather practice was essential for them.

"As tricky as the conditions are, it was important for the drivers to get a feel for them today in case this is how the situation will remain for the rest of the weekend," he said. "Conditions like this often result in surprises, so we are almost certainly in for an unpredictable weekend."


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