Formula 1: Pirelli tyre change wasn't to favour us says Mercedes

Toto Wolff has rubbished the suggestion that Pirelli's decision to bring tyres with thinner treads to Barcelona was influenced by Mercedes

Formula 1: Pirelli tyre change wasn't to favour us says Mercedes

The modified tyres were specified by Pirelli after F1 teams experienced overheating problems on the resurfaced Barcelona track in winter testing.

Wolff was asked about rival teams allegedly suggesting the change, which will also apply at the resurfaced Silverstone and Paul Ricard circuits, was made to help Mercedes as the German manufacturer suffered more than most in testing.

"Is bollocks a bad word in English?" said Wolff. "Rubbish. All teams had blistering, very heavy blistering at the test in Barcelona.

"Red Bull, Ferrari, ourselves. McLaren have seen it I think also. The tyres wouldn't have lasted in the race.

"And the ambient, and the track temperatures, were arctic, Baltic, and for that reason Pirelli changed the thickness of the tyre to prevent blistering, and they've been successful at preventing the blistering because we haven't see it on any car today.

"So, I don't know where suddenly this rumour comes out that we have been influencing Pirelli and the FIA to change any tyres.

"I have never seen anything working like that, why should they do it?

"When we haven't performed well in the past we have taken ourselves by the nose and have looked for performance to be found on our car, and not go on the default mode, turn around and say 'what are the others doing that is wrong?'"

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas locked out the front row in qualifying at Barcelona, having struggled against Ferrari in the previous three races.

Wolff said the cooler conditions in Spain played to the strengths of the Mercedes package and boosted its performance.

"We seem to be competitive when the ambient is a bit cooler and the track temperature is a bit cooler," he added.

"That is a pattern that we had in the last years also.

"I don't think we've made a step change that suddenly the car is transformed - we just had the car and the tyres in the right window today.

"It's not about bolting aero parts on the car and then suddenly changing the behaviour.

"I think what we've seen is that every track is different, and climate conditions have a big impact on the teams' performance.

"This is a track where we looked very competitive in winter testing, and we have been looking OK today in qualifying.

"Let's see if we can replicate it tomorrow."

shares
comments
Renault thought Hulkenberg's problem was fixed before F1 qualifying

Previous article

Renault thought Hulkenberg's problem was fixed before F1 qualifying

Next article

Formula 1: Ricciardo 'hurt' by Mercedes qualifying pace

Formula 1: Ricciardo 'hurt' by Mercedes qualifying pace
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021