World Champion Lewis Hamilton said today that the drivers are pushing for better tyres from Pirelli.
Hamilton spoke about the need for improvements with the tyres to improve the show in Formula 1: "When they had the tyre war back in the day (Bridgestone vs Michelin during the 2000s), they did have lighter cars.
"But you had two companies pushing each other to the limit and at the moment, nobody's pushing Pirelli except for us in what we say.
"But we have to be very careful because we don't upset Pirelli. But we're trying to be constructive and we sit down, talk to them.
"When we look at the last target letter, it was nowhere near... it had no input from the drivers and it was not what we had been asking for for years.
"And so, trying to get to the root cause there is what the GPDA tries to do.
"That's one of the reasons that I went to Paris when they were doing the Concorde Agreement just to try and help them, say 'look, involve the drivers, we're not working against you, we're part of the sport and we want to help it be great, just as you do'.
"And I think they were really welcoming at that time and I think now they're trying to make the tyre target agreement better.
"But we're coming to a year [in 2022] where we've still got the same tyres we had last year and it still has... I personally would like to do more stops - I think these one-stop races aren't great.
"The hyper-soft tyre we had was the best tyre we had in the sense of the grip that it gave us. So, we want that grip for longer.
"We don't want overheating so we can continue to push and thrash these cars around and get close to these drivers and pull off the manoeuvres, which sometimes take us laps to do."
As for Max Verstappen, the believes the team are overachieving as he currently splits the Mercedes drivers in the Drivers’ Championship.
“I think looking at pure pace, both of them should be ahead of me in the championship.’’
“Of course Valtteri had one retirement, I had one retirement. Well, retirement, he finished out of the points with a puncture, so no points. Of course that was unlucky for him and unlucky for me in the first race.
“But I think overall to be second in a few races where I think Mercedes had more pace, we definitely over-achieved a bit and besides that I think we always maximised what we could. So I’m happy with that.”
While Verstappen currently sits 2nd in the standings, he points out that he doesn’t have the car speed to compete for the championship this year and points to Mercedes’ big step forward over the winter.
“As a team and myself we are not here to be second or third, we want to fight for the championship. But we also have to accept the situation we are in that we are not really able to challenge.
“Yes, it looks like it on paper, but if you look at the pure pace we are too slow and at the moment are relying on a bit of an ‘off day’ for Mercedes or a bit of luck to win a race. So we still have a lot of work to do.”
“Clearly they had a very good winter, Mercedes, they found a lot of performance out of their engine. That meant we were a bit behind.
“We’re just trying to do the best we can. Everybody is, of course. We’ll see what the rest of the season will bring. They are still, of course, quite ahead, but we don’t give up. I think that’s the mentality of the team – we will always keep fighting and go for every opportunity that we have.’’