Surwon Technology, a Hong Kong based materials developer, is reportedly conducting extensive testing on a wet weather tire that is reportedly capable of delivering significant performance improvements over the current "wets" used by racers during rainy periods on Grand Prix weekends.
During races and qualifying sessions, wet weather tires are deployed when the rain makes the standard slick tires used on dry tarmac impractical. Teams change their cars' tires from slicks to so-called "wets" which are able to clear far more water from the track, thereby reducing aquaplaning and keeping the cars on the tarmac. However, when the rain stops and the track begins to dry out, they tend to heat up very quickly; this has an adverse impact on grip and dramatically reduces lap times forcing teams to change back to slicks as quickly as possible.
"Our wet weather prototype not only displaces more water while the track is drenched, it also dissipates more of the heat that builds up in traditional wets as the tarmac dries out. This enables the team to keep cars and drivers out that little bit longer so they can open up a greater gap over rivals during the crucial pit stops," explained Surwon Technology's Chief Technical Officer.
Surwon's tire is being tested in collaboration with an unnamed automotive rubber products supplier rumored to have plans to enter Formula 1 in the future as a rival to the sport's current sole supplier, Pirelli.