Mercedes were struggling with the 2013 tires at the beginning of the year and for the first 5-6 races, the team seemed bereft of the changes needed to get on top of the severely degrading tires on the rear of their cars. Then it emerged at the Monaco Grand Prix that the team had engaged Pirelli in a private test using their 2013 chassis and testing tires. The tires tested were described as 2014 compounds and then it was thought to have been a new tire construction for the British Grand Prix onward but the message changed depending on whom you asked.
Regardless, Mercedes seemed to have a resurgence of performance winning in Monaco, managing in Canada and winning at the British Grand Prix. They seemed to really be on top of the tires or at least gaining ground on the complicated nature of the 2013 compounds. The FIA, however, convened a court and heard arguments regarding the private test in which it promptly banned Mercedes from the Young Driver’s test slated for Silverstone this month.
This ban was prior to the tire debacle at the British Grand Prix in which five left-rear tires exploded leading the Formula 1 series to mandate a tire change immediately as well as convert the Young Driver test into a full-on test with the team’s tops drivers. Now Mercedes is lobbying the FIA for a reprieve and suggests it should be allowed at the test as Mercedes motor sport boss Toto Wolff told AUTOSPORT:
“When it is about safety it would be good if all teams are clear whether they [the tyres] work on their cars,” he said. “But it is up to the FIA to decide.
“Safety is the priority for the FIA and I am sure they would safeguard that it is the same for everybody.”
The tires used in the German Grand Prix last weekend were actually the tires originally slated for use at the British Grand Prix but now Pirelli will go even further with an all-new product for the Hungarian Grand Prix onward and Mercedes feels they should have some track time with these brand new tires. It’s about safety ..you’re not saying you’re against safety are you?
There is a very good chance that if the tires work on all the other cars and don’t explode then they will work on a Mercedes. The team seemed to take a giant leap backward in Germany with the hybrid construction tire that saw a return to Kevlar belts and it appears they will be on the back foot moving forward especially if they have no testing time with the new tires for Hungary.
What do you think? Should they be able to test this month or is that part of the pain and punishment of their actions in the private test? No one could have foreseen (or could they?) the coming tire issues at Silverstone but are those the breaks?