Formula E tyre supplier Hankook received criticism from Sam Bird at the recent season finale, with the ex-Jaguar driver having complained about the “absolutely no good” tread pattern on the tyres.

The final race of the season at the London E-Prix was a treacherous affair, as heavy rainfall led to two red flag stoppages. The race had initially gotten underway behind the Safety Car; however, the first red flag was flown after four laps under the neutralised conditions.

Following a 30-minute delay, the race resumed once again behind the Safety Car, which led the field for a further two laps. Towards the end of the second lap, though, another red flag was required as the rain had intensified.

40 minutes later, the 16th and final round finally saw green flag racing. Despite racing having properly gotten underway, very little action took place. Due to the spray and poor grip levels, very few overtakes took place, with Bird having revealed that the tyres weren’t getting rid of the surface water.

A general complaint about Hankook’s Formula E compound this season has been how hard it is, something which has made generating heat that much more challenging than it was when Michelin were the sport’s tyre supplier.

Hankook haven’t really had an opportunity to gather data in wet conditions during their first Formula E campaign, with the vast majority of the sessions having been completed in the dry.

Bird was adamant that the tread pattern on Hankook’s rubber wasn’t suitable for the wet conditions seen at the ExCeL Centre, to the extent that the race was more about “survival than anything else”.

“I’m sure the Gen3 car would have been great in those conditions, but the tread pattern on the current tyre is absolutely no good for those kind of conditions,” Bird complained to Motorsport Week.

“And it doesn’t get rid of the water. So we’re just skating around. We’re not generating any heat in the tyre to then go quicker, so we’re just sliding around. So it’s more survival than anything else. And some people survive better than others.”

The conditions were truly horrific, to the extent that NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum was “shouting down the radio” insisting that it was “way too dangerous” whilst behind the Safety Car. Despite the conditions, all 22 drivers finished the race, with not a single yellow flag having been required when racing actually got underway.

Ticktum was one of the only drivers to complete an overtake in the conditions, which he described as being “honestly pretty dangerous”.

“They [the conditions] were very bad. Scot [Elkins] said that we were about to go racing before the first red flag and I was basically shouting down the radio saying it’s way too dangerous,” said Ticktum, as reported by Autosport.

“It was honestly pretty dangerous for the whole race even when it did start but everyone here is very experienced and mature.

“On the straights, basically, we couldn’t see, no one was doing anything stupid so [we were] able to have a pretty clean race which was good in the end.”

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