Wolff admits Mercedes missed a trick in 2017 tyre testing

13/06/2017
NEWS STORY

Among other things, it is claimed that part of Ferrari's astonishing revival this season is down to the tyre testing it carried out for Pirelli last year.

Over the course of ten tests, the Italian and German teams, and Red Bull, tested the Pirelli compounds to be used this year, albeit using a mule car intended to simulate downforce levels.

However, while Mercedes tended to use Pascal Wehrlein, Ferrari took the opportunity of giving Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen an early taste of the 2017 rubber and its characteristics.

Indeed, while Vettel carried out around 2,228 kilometres of testing and teammate Kimi Raikkonen 1,054, Lewis Hamilton carried out a mere 50 and Nico Rosberg just over 200.

On reflection, Toto Wolff admits his team made a mistake.

"It was definitely an advantage for Ferrari that they had Vettel doing it," said the Austrian, "because with his experience, he was a credible test driver.

"If you are driving your car and you are a Pirelli engineer and you have Vettel giving you an input, it is different to Pascal Wehrlein," he admitted.

"The situation was different with us, because Nico and Lewis were in a championship fight, back then, with the current car," he explained. "Both of them said that testing next year's car, with next year's tyres, was something that would at least harm them in their focus of the world championship in 2016. So it was understandable.

"If I could turn back time I would probably push a bit harder for them to drive the new tyres," he admitted, "but we were in a different situation to the Ferrari drivers."

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Published: 13/06/2017
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