With a win at the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes are back in business. to make matters even better, it was a 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows. However, not many are happy with them. Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko has levelled a few accusations, which Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff has denied vehemently.
Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel drew first blood in the opening two races. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo came from behind to win in China. Then, Lewis Hamilton pulled one back for Mercedes and stayed at the top of the standings.
Mercedes’ domination was not a cut and dry affair to be perfectly honest.
F1 tire supplier Pirelli switched up the tyres ahead of the race to a thinner compound. This sparked accusations they performed the action at Mercedes request to give the latter an advantage.
Unsurprisingly, team boss Toto Wolff denied the accusations but victory in Spain seems to have given them no leg to stand on.
The main party behind the accusations is Red Bull, with advisor Helmut Marko speaking out.
The Austrian firmly believes that there’s a reason why Mercedes may have requested such an advantage from Pirelli.
“When you’re a team and a manufacturer at the same time, you can do that,” said Marko.
“We [Red Bull] produce energy drinks – of course we cannot influence as much compared to a maker of passenger cars.”
Wolff responded, “It’s not the first time the doctor [Marko] sees ghosts.”
“There were problems with blistering on the tyres in the winter tests, even at Red Bull. The rears looked like a volcanic landscape. So Pirelli improved them. It’s bad for business if tyres explode.”
“I think it looks weak if you have a bad weekend and complain,” he continued. “First and foremost, we look at ourselves for our problems.”
Wolff was right about one thing, both Ferrari and Red Bull suffered problems that prevented them from challenging the German marquee.
Daniel Ricciardo was well off the pace and wasn’t able to recover for an assault on the podium. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen lucked out with his podium finish, benefitting from Raikkonen’s retirement from the race.
Sebastian Vettel pitted twice while others were on a one-stop strategy, costing him precious time. As mentioned early, Raikkonen suffered a mechanical issue with his car.