Mercedes: F1 didn't have level playing field on tyre pressures

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has welcomed the FIA’s tougher checks on tyre pressures, suggesting that there had not been a level playing field in Formula 1 before.

Mercedes: F1 didn't have level playing field on tyre pressures

In the wake of the Aston Martin and Red Bull tyre blowouts at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Pirelli concluded that one of the factors in the incidents was teams not running tyres at pressure levels it expected.

As a result, the FIA has revised tyre checking procedures from this weekend’s race in France, with tyres now being checked after they have run on cars to ensure that teams are running them at high enough levels.

Amid suspicions that some teams had found ways for their tyres not to raise in pressure as much as others when running, Wolff reckons that things were not equal before.

“I think we just want to have a level playing field,” he said about Pirelli having further increased tyre pressures for this weekend’s French GP.

“Whether it's up and down, that's not the point. But if somebody is capable of extracting two or three pounds out of a tyre while it's running, there's obviously not a level playing field.”

Read Also:

Mercedes is adamant that it had never played around with the pressures itself, and always followed the procedures that Pirelli laid down at each event.

“We have always operated to the limits that were given to us by Pirelli,” said Wolff. “And the logic is if we start with the prescriptions, there's only one direction and that is up, in terms of tyre pressures.

“There is no way of going down. So we were always on the right side of the of the legality question.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, whose car's blowout cost Max Verstappen an almost certain victory, has questioned the impact of the new FIA stance though – and suggests there still remain ambiguities.

“They don't really change the way we're operating, but it's the same for everybody,” he said.

“There are lots of words that don't say a great deal, but it's more an administrative thing than anything else. And, I think, we've always adhered to Pirelli's guidelines and the FIA rules. That's what we'll continue to do.”

However, he reckoned that there could still be trouble down the road in terms of how tyres are operated in races – especially in events of changeable conditions.

“I think it's good that the FIA are taking it seriously, ultimately, as safety is their responsibility. And those guidelines, they're there for a reason.

“But the difficulty with all of these things is: how do you deal with a wet/dry race, how do you deal with those kind of scenarios?”

shares
comments

Related video

Paul Ricard kerbs unchanged despite F1 teams complaints
Previous article

Paul Ricard kerbs unchanged despite F1 teams complaints

Next article

French GP: Verstappen fastest by 0.7s in final practice

French GP: Verstappen fastest by 0.7s in final practice
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021