If there was ever a prime example of why tyre producers insisted wet grip was included in labelling legislation, it’s this Chinese Linglong. It proved the most economical on fuel by a clear margin, but in the wet its performance was poor.
In every wet test, it finished last, a long way behind its rivals. In wet braking, it had only taken off around half the speed and was still doing 24mph when the winning Continental had stopped. On the wet handling circuit, the lack of grip was scary, with lots of movement front and rear and little warning of which end would slide first.
It was a similar story in the dry, where it was last in both braking and handling. It needed three more metres to stop than the winning Continental and quickly lost grip on the handling circuit.
Oddly, it proved much more sure-footed on snow, with top three results in braking and traction. Around the swooping handling track, it needed a low entry speed to get the front to bite, which triggered lots of rear movement. That may be okay for lap times, but doesn’t inspire confidence on the road.