Pirelli has been incredibly patient in their attempts to pacify all parties in Formula 1 since they became the sport’s exclusive and official tyre supplier and it appears not everyone is happy with the thinner tread earmarked for next year’s tyres with Mercedes team chief taking a swipe at the decision-making process.
Wolff and fellow team bosses sat in on a Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) meeting in Sao Paulo, along with F1 stakeholders and FIA delegates.
Wolff’s comments during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend suggest dissent and serious disagreement among the stakeholders regarding next year’s rules “I think there [are] just people who have no clue, that get meddled into the discussion about how the tyres should look like, and how they should behave.
“They should keep out of it, they should listen to the drivers and to the teams, and the teams shouldn’t be opportunistic as they have been in the past, thinking that somebody has an advantage or disadvantage and then lobbying for a certain direction.”
Notably, Wolff did not pinpoint the “clueless people” he was referring to an added, “This is what the story of this thing was, when you remember back six months ago, the discussion about the thinner tread. I mean, it’s unbelievable that people said: Yeah, Mercedes wants them because they’re blistering.”
“Then at the next race another team was blistering and they couldn’t even finish their stint properly. It’s just pathetic how opportunism drives various stakeholders in this business, to push for a direction that is detrimental for the sport.”
But Wolff is dismayed with the outcome claiming that the issue went in “completely the wrong direction” and added, “We have expressed our support for Pirelli because we know it is a difficult task to manage.”
“I think in the past years we have simply asked the wrong things from Pirelli, by making the compounds softer and softer and softer, trying to trigger degradation and therefore more pitstops.”
“But when strategists have come up with the fastest race time, it’s about managing those tyres and still try to achieve a one-stop or a two-stop sometimes,” explained Wolff.
Big Question: What is the solution to the F1 tyre dilemma? Harder? Softer? Neither?