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2018 F1

Mercedes slams Red Bull over tyre conspiracy

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Toto Wolff has slammed Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko for alleging that Mercedes is receiving special treatment by F1 tyre supplier Pirelli.

Already, Sebastian Vettel has suggested the new, thinner tyre tread supplied by Pirelli in Barcelona was a cause of Ferrari’s sudden struggle.

“You don’t have to be a genius to understand that the tyres get harder when you scratch off 4 millimetres. That’s how other teams got on better than we did,” the German told Bild newspaper.

Red Bull’s Marko agrees: “The tyres were changed at the request of Mercedes.

“When you’re a team and a manufacturer at the same time, you can do that.

“We produce energy drinks,” he continued to Auto Bild. “Of course we cannot influence as much compared to a maker of passenger cars.”

Mercedes boss Wolff, however, hit back at Marko’s allegations.

“It’s not the first time the doctor sees ghosts,” he said.

“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. First and foremost, we look at ourselves for our problems,” Wolff added.

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