Mercedes: Impact of new tires unclear

Mercedes: Impact of new tires unclear

Formula 1

Mercedes: Impact of new tires unclear


Mercedes thinks it too early to say that Pirelli’s new tires have improved its title chances, following Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton produced the most convincing race performance from the team so far this season on a day when Mercedes appeared to have put its tire woes behind it. One of the factors that is believed to have helped its form is that the new Pirelli front tire is weaker on turn-in, which has helped balance out Mercedes’ problems of overheating the rears. However, team principal Ross Brawn is not totally convinced that the 2012 construction provides the full answer to Mercedes’ lift in form.

“There is no doubt it will suit some people more than others, but I still don’t have any idea if this tire is one that suits us more or less than anyone else,” Brawn said. “It maybe changed the order a bit, because teams that were doing phenomenally well have struggled a little bit. But I am sure they will come to terms with it.

“We had just started to understand the original tire at Silverstone and had to change it again here. In terms of understanding the tire, we got it on the button this weekend but that doesn’t mean that we will get it right in Spa because each situation is different. You have to build up your understanding of it to use it properly.”

Brawn believes that part of the breakthrough Mercedes made in Hungary came after key lessons were learned at the German Grand Prix, where Hamilton tumbled down the order after another pole position.

“The Nurburgring was another piece of the jigsaw,” said Brawn. “In our post-race analysis we think we understood a bit more.

“The tires changed a bit here and we slightly focused on a few different things in trying to judge where we were in terms of tire performance and what we have to do to achieve a good long run result. But we didn’t know until we got into the race where that would put us.

“That was the uncertainty, and we had not had the benefit of the three days at Silverstone [for the young driver test]. Maybe it would not have been a benefit who knows? That is why we were a bit uncertain this weekend.”

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