Mercedes says hypersoft a "survival" tyre

Mercedes avoided Pirelli's new hypersoft tyre in Formula 1 testing because it will just be a compound to "survive" on this season, according to team principal Toto Wolff.

Mercedes says hypersoft a "survival" tyre
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas ended the two weeks at Barcelona more than a second off Sebastian Vettel's pace, but did not pursue one-lap performance and only moved away from soft or medium Pirellis to try the ultrasoft.

Wolff dismissed it a a potential concern, claiming it was better for Mercedes' test programme as a whole.

"We decided not to use the hypersoft because we felt it is a tyre that is usable for one lap only, and that in testing it is about collecting data and understanding set-ups," he said.

"The hypersoft is just an additional big step in grip from the ultrasoft. It will be a qualifying tyre, and we felt that we would rather concentrate on the development work than on single lap.

"I think the hyper will be a qualifying tyre only, and you just need to hang onto it in the first couple of laps, and survive."

Wolff said that "every car" suffered blistering on the softer compounds in testing and reckoned that meant races they are used "can be exciting".

However, he also suggested that Pirelli's estimates of big steps between each compound would not prove to be accurate.

"What we have seen is that the steps in performance and in grip between the tyre compounds was relatively small," he said.

"Between medium and soft, soft and supersoft, supersoft and ultrasoft you could see tiny steps, between a tenth or two, sometimes no step at all.

"With some teams, like Williams, there was no step at all."

Pirelli's hypersoft appeared in Abu Dhabi in the post-season test last November, and Bottas said that offered sufficient opportunity to try the new-for-2018 compound.

He agreed with Wolff that the life of the tyres made it an irrelevant one to test on in Spain, claiming "they would only last one lap" on a high-energy circuit like Barcelona.

"They are grippier, based on what we know, so I don't think there's a risk," he continued. "We decided to focus on the tyres that are most likely to be [used] on that type of track."

Vettel claimed after testing that Mercedes' decision to complete race simulations only using medium tyres, which is not allowed in races, made its impressive long-run pace misleading.

Bottas admitted that it was not entirely representative, saying: "We know that testing was good, especially our long-run performance felt good and consistent.

"But it's only one track, one [set of] conditions, one type of tyre."

He added: "I think we definitely need to be cautious, it was unique conditions. We know Melbourne will be different, Bahrain and China will be different.

"We can estimate pretty well but we need to prove in Melbourne that the car also works there."

shares
comments
Senna's Monaco GP Toleman up for auction

Previous article

Senna's Monaco GP Toleman up for auction

Next article

FIA convinced oil burn clampdown "will do the job"

FIA convinced oil burn clampdown "will do the job"
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021