Max Verstappen feels Formula 1’s wet tyre rules mean wet practice sessions are ‘a bit useless’ for all drivers due to weekend strategies and needing to prioritise fresh tyres for qualifying and the race.

In both of Friday’s wet practice sessions at Circuit of the Americas, all F1 teams opts for limited running to preserve its wet and intermediate tyre allocations for the remainder of the race weekend with rain forecast to hit qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Verstappen says all teams are forced into limited running by F1 tyre rules. Each car’s full race weekend tyre allocation consists of 13 sets of dry-weather tyres but just four intermediate sets and only three wet sets.

With qualifying split into three sessions, as well as a race to consider, Verstappen feels it leaves drivers with only one tyre set to use and not exceed tyre strategy.

“You only have one tyre set which is already used from first practice and then there’s not a lot of grip left,” Verstappen said. “We don’t want to use any other tyres because we want to maybe use them in qualifying. So it is a bit useless. Not much driving just sitting around but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“If we had more tyres, there would have been more running. That would have been better.”

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo endured even greater limitations after picking up a puncture during his morning session meaning he was unable to notch up any laps in FP2.

“The tyres we used this morning, we would have used for the afternoon, but I picked up a puncture,” he said. “Anything we used now would have taken away from qualifying it’s wet. Qualifying is more important which is why we want to have all the tyres available.”

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen echoed the Red Bull driver’s sentiments and blames the lack of running on the rules rather than F1 teams.

“We obviously ran as much as we could,” Raikkonen said. “We had one set we can basically use without penalising ourselves, so that’s really the limit for running. But it was better than nothing.”

Romain Grosjean says the wet tyre allocation issue had already been brought up on previous incidents and feels more sets of wet tyres are worth it to ensure all F1 drivers can complete their full programmes.

“It is going to be brought up at the drivers meeting again. I don’t think it is great.” Grosjean said. “There are situations where it is wet on Friday and we don’t expect any more rain for the rest of the weekend, therefore we don’t drive.

“But here we don’t drive because we expect rain tomorrow and we need to save our tyres. For the fans that came here, that were brave to stand out there on the wet, they didn’t get to see many cars. For us it is boring too. I don’t think the cost of an extra set of tyres should stop us running.”



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