Toto Wolff was a frustrated man, post the British Grand Prix, giving an explosive post-race interview. The Mercedes team have been traditionally strong at fast-paced tracks but have seen that dominance diminish this year.
The Mercedes boss felt that the differentiating factor for that is the behaviour of the Pirelli tyres. “I think we’ve seen this season is a little bit of a different pattern. Everybody brings updates to every race”, Wolff said.
“It is just a constant learning of the tyre which is the single most important denominator of performance. You get it right and you get it wrong.
“I believe that if we would have 10 degrees less temperature, maybe we would have had a bigger gap and maybe the same on race day.”
The 2017 race saw Mercedes comprehensively beat the Ferraris, both in qualifying and the main race. Wolff talked about why the situation was different this year.
“There is never a silver bullet that provides you three tenths or four tenths, which was the difference between us and Ferrari”, the Austrian stated.
With half the season gone, Mercedes have already exhausted those tracks which are traditionally their stronghold, like Silverstone and Austria. The second half will involve races at Hungary and Singapore, which are not tracks which suit the Mercedes cars.
“It is what it is and we just need to learn, understand and just try to get in control of the tyres in the best possible way”, Wolff said about the unfavourable tracks.
“I would have loved for us to build a gap in Austria, Montreal and Silverstone because we lose some in Hungary and we lose some in Singapore. But we will look at it now and try to fight and score as many points as possible”, he added.
Mercedes dominated at Spain and France, where Pirelli brought in their new-concept thinner tread tyres, experiencing it better than the other teams. They will be hoping to get them back soon, as it seems their best bet of beating a much improved Ferrari.