Wolff annoyed Mercedes' F1 rivals lobbying for return to 2018 tyres

Toto Wolff believes Pirelli has been targeted by opportunistic lobbying to bring back its 2018 tyres in a bid to end Mercedes' dominant start to the Formula 1 season

Wolff annoyed Mercedes' F1 rivals lobbying for return to 2018 tyres

During the Canadian Grand Prix weekend criticism from Mercedes' rivals Ferrari and Red Bull has emerged over the thinner-treaded tyres introduced full-time for this season and the impact they have had on the competitive order.

Mercedes has won all six races so far, leading Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko to heavily criticise Pirelli's tyre change.

In response to those comments, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1 that the "best thing would be if they went back to last year's tyres".

Such a move to the older tyres, which have 0.4mm greater tread depth, would need the support of seven of the 10 teams or could be forced through by the FIA on safety grounds.

Asked by Autosport for his thoughts on Marko's comments and the prospect of a mid-season tyre change, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff called it "opportunistic actionism".

"Every year we have new tyres from Pirelli," he said. "Sometimes you manage to understand them quicker. Sometimes you struggle more.

"As fair competitors out there, we need to make the best of what's been given to us unless it becomes a safety issue. Like we've had in the past.

"Pirelli's been given an impossible task, telling them to give us tyres that degrade so that strategies become exciting.

"Once we have tyres that degrade people are asking to have tyres that last longer.

"I think we need to protect and support Pirelli in their task to give a tyre that hopefully suits everybody.

"This is what we're doing and not letting ourselves to be distracted with voices that don't matter."

Several teams have complained about the difficulty of getting Pirelli's 2019 rubber into an effective working window.

Mercedes' rivals argue that the team previously had a weakness in overheating its tyres and the change of specification has handed Mercedes an advantage and hindered teams that developed a car to be kinder on the tyres.

When asked on Sky to address alleged Marko comments calling for a return to the 2018 tyres, Horner acknowledged that Mercedes' rivals needed to do a better job with the new rubber.

However, he said: "[It] has actually worked into their favour and puts them in a really nice window.

"It's for the rest of us to try to catch that up. The best thing would be if they went back to last year's tyres.

"You'd probably find nine teams quite happy with that but one team fairly unhappy with that.

"In the interest of entertainment in F1, that would be a noble thing of Pirelli to do."

shares
comments
Canadian GP qualifying crash consigns Magnussen to pitlane start
Previous article

Canadian GP qualifying crash consigns Magnussen to pitlane start

Next article

Renault F1's Ricciardo thinks he can beat Red Bulls in Canadian GP

Renault F1's Ricciardo thinks he can beat Red Bulls in Canadian GP
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022