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
Listen to this article

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
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Prime

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023, which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Prime

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos Prime

The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos

The Hart-powered Jordan 194 gave the team hope that the good times were just around the corner. Its 1994 steed wasn’t the start of a move up F1’s pecking order - even if the car did earn the Silverstone team a first pole position. But, as STUART CODLING explains, it did provide a platform for Jordan to become a manufacturer-supported squad.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2022