Mercedes: no ground to rue limited scope of Pirelli's tyre tweaks

Mercedes says there can be no grounds for disappointment over the reduced scope of Pirelli's Formula 1 tyre revisions, despite having suffered with degradation more than most

Mercedes: no ground to rue limited scope of Pirelli's tyre tweaks

As AUTOSPORT revealed last week, Pirelli's revisions - due to come in to force from the Canadian Grand Prix - will now be minimal after the FIA made it clear any tweaks to the rubber could only be made on safety grounds.

The governing body's stance means that Pirelli will not be allowed to make alterations to the tyre specification aimed primarily at lessening tyre degradation or reducing the number of pit stops.

The limited scope of its changes has left Pirelli convinced that there will be no impact on the competitive order, which is bad news for teams like Mercedes and Red Bull that have struggled with the tyres so far.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if Mercedes was disappointed by the smaller-than-expected scale of Pirelli's changes, motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "If you struggle with the tyres, like we obviously do, you can't expect the FIA to change the rules for your own benefit.

"This is why Lotus and Ferrari don't want the tyres to change.

"The one critical issue is of safety. We've seen tyres delaminating and none of us wants to have a safety issue.

"As long as the tyres are safe enough, I am sportsman enough to say that we should just make the car function on the tyres. The safety is my concern."

Wolff agreed that the rear tyre failures that have affected a number of drivers - including Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain - were grounds enough for Pirelli to make tweaks.

"It's Pirelli's main purpose to showcase the tyre," he said.

"Part of that showcase is performance and part is safety.

"I think that Pirelli just wants to make sure that the tyres don't cause delaminations any more. This is what they're looking at; not helping one team or another."

Force India relieved at scale of changes

One team that has expressed its relief at the limited tyres changes is Force India. The team had designed its car in the expectation that there was going to be more aggressive products from Pirelli this year.

Paul di Resta admitted to AUTOSPORT that it would have been 'annoying' if Pirelli's tweaks had been enough to make life easier for teams that had not made as much of an effort to design a car that was sympathetic to its tyres.

"We're along the lines of Ferrari and Lotus in terms of the way it is at the moment," said the Scotsman.

"We dedicated so much of the winter doing what we did and the structured way in which we were putting everything we could into race performance - as we did last year.

"And it's been paying off. So for it to change is quite annoying.

"We knew that the way we did it might suit us better or might not; it could always have gone either way.

"The way I see it is that as long as there's still an aggressive compound being taken to the races, but with safety in mind, then that's the ideal way forward."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jamie O'Leary
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