Raising concerns - Helmut Marko over Mercedes-Pirelli alleged favouritism
Sparks are flying. Aside from the drama and the debates generated by Vettel’s controversial penalty, Helmut Marko had his say on another talking point.
Mercedes’ top-level competitiveness in the Turbo-Hybrid era has always been on point, despite many factors concur in making the car efficient. Marko suggests that there are a number of strange coincidences that would make everyone turn their nose up at it.
“Let's put it this way: It's noticeable that the rule changes and decisions lately have always been good for Mercedes. - said Marko in an exclusive interview to Autobild.de - An example: Pirelli has changed the tread of the tyres for 2019, so they do not overheat. But in 2018 only Mercedes had a problem with it. In 2019 suddenly Mercedes gets the temperatures always in the correct working window. All others are not. It's funny.”
Pirelli itself had a hard time explaining the reason behind the tyre tread thickness reduction properly. The different tyres were seen on three occasions only, where the track had been resurfaced, to avoid overheating issues since a less thick tread produced less rubber to heat up.
Mercedes seemed to have got the upper hand on Ferrari if we look at the raw performance, benefitting from this slight change. But Marko’s thread of coincidences goes on.
“While we all had the opportunity to respond, the concepts of the cars were all designed for less downforce. Only Mercedes chose a different route. They built a car with a lot of downforce and traction - in retrospect, that was exactly the way to optimally handle the new-generation tyres."
Marko continues: “Although I can not prove that Mercedes got data earlier than we did, I can not rule it out, but it does not boost confidence when you look at Liberty's Mercedes caboose with a Stuttgart number and with Pirelli tires on it, we at Red Bull will look very closely at the future development of Formula One and there will also be discussions with Pirelli.”
From his side, Toto Wolff took the chance to respond to Marko’s remarks: "We can not be distracted by such voices. Every year we get new tires from Pirelli, sometimes you understand them faster, sometimes you have more trouble with them, and as fair competitors, we make the most of what's given to us."
You may also be interested in: