F1 Drivers

Mercedes: Tyre investigation exposed new rules confusion

Mercedes: Tyre investigation exposed new rules confusion

Mercedes: Tyre investigation exposed new rules confusion


Toto Wolff admitted to relief on Sunday evening after a long and crucial meeting with the stewards.

Lewis Hamilton’s Monza victory was in doubt because Pirelli, supported by the FIA, found on the grid that his tyre was 0.3 PSI under the new mandatory limit.

Apparently a clear technical breach, with both performance and safety implications, many in the paddock had expected the British driver to be disqualified.

But after a long wait, the FIA finally announced that Hamilton can keep his win.

“The stewards have determined that the pressure in the tyres concerned were at the minimum start pressure recommended by Pirelli when they were fitted to the car,” a statement read.

It added that Mercedes had set the pressures “supervised by the tyre manufacturer”, and therefore recommended that the protocols for ensuring actual race-start pressure are improved for the future.

“The stewards recommend that the tyre manufacturer and the FIA hold further meetings to provide clear guidance to the teams on measurement protocols,” said the stewards.

Reaction from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff: “You check the tyre pressures in the tyre heaters when you put them on the car. This is the moment, because you could say ‘when is the moment you should check them? Five minutes? Eight minutes from the end, when the red lights go on?’

“I think it is about defining the procedure – the moment when those pressures are checked – in the future. Wolff told Sky Sports

“We don’t know why we had such a discrepancy. At the end of the day, it can cost performance if you have one tyre that has a different pressure than the others.”

When the source asked, why did you ask Lewis to push in the closing laps?

“In terms of asking Lewis to push [during the closing laps] when we got the message that there was an investigation into tyre pressures, we didn’t understand what was going on. There could have been possible penalties. And in order to gain a little bit of a margin, we asked him to push.”

Wolff adds that checks on tyre pressures are “a completely new regulation. Tyre pressures weren’t checked before in that way” and insists there’s no advantage to be gained because it’s “absolutely unscientific and uncontrollable.

“How do you want to measure how much a tyre pressure drops once you disconnect it and why would you only have it on one tyre?” (GMM/ThisisF1)

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