Ferrari hit out at ‘monsoon tyre’ after Japanese Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc picked up a third-placed finish at the Japanese Grand Prix after Carlos Sainz's scary crash.

The limited usefulness of the extreme Wets makes being on the Intermediates the preferred choice for the teams.

This is according to Ferrari strategist, Iñaki Rueda, who watched Charles Leclerc finish third at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

After lengthy delays due to the weather lad led to a tie-limited race in Singapore the weekend prior, the drivers arrived in Japan knowing there was a strong chance of rain affecting the running in Suzuka too.

Initially, the forecast suggested that the race would start dry before encountering a weather front towards the end, but things did not quite turn out that way.

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The drivers opened their curtains to pouring rain on Sunday morning, but with conditions looking relatively calm as the pit lane opened, they all headed out on Intermediates.

“When we came in on Sunday morning, we saw that all the dry tyres that we had saved for the race were good for nothing,” said Rueda, per

“Why? Because we had a forecast that was very damning, we expected rain to start at noon, and to not finish until late at night.”

The conditions suddenly got a lot worse ahead of the formation lap, but the consensus remained that the Inters were the way to go.

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Unfortunately for the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, this caught him out on the first lap, with the 28-year-old aquaplaning at Turn 11 and spinning into the wall.

That caused a lengthy red flag, after which the Safety Car led the field back out, and extreme Wets were mandated.

It did not take very long for the transition from Wets to Inters to take place as the track began to get drier, and Rueda gave an indication as to why.

“In wet conditions this year, with these tyres we have, we have a big conundrum which is that we have an extreme tyre that is good for a very small window – [a] monsoon weather kind of window, in which we never run,” he elucidated.

“The Intermediate tyre, on the other hand, is a tyre that actually behaves very well in wet conditions.

“So, any time a race team is given a choice to choose between extreme or Intermediate tyres, we choose the Intermediate.

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“It is just a faster tyre in most conditions.”

Max Verstappen pulled out a 27-second lead in the space of 28 laps in Suzuka, taking the flag ahead of Leclerc, who was then penalised for his illegal defence of second place from Sergio Perez.

The pressure from the 32-year-old got him second place and, when the stewards awarded full points after the race finished under green flag running, Verstappen was crowned a two-time champion.