Pirelli's president has brushed off Toto Wolff's pointed statement that Mercedes' apparent inability to get the most from its tyres are an 'Italian mystery' amidst speculation that the supplier could be favouring Ferrari this year.

A third win in six races for Sebastian Vettel at the Monaco Grand Prix has seen the German move 25 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings, while Ferrari has established a comfortable 20 points advantage over Mercedes in the constructors' standings.

It comes on a weekend that saw Mercedes struggle to get its tyres in the correct operating window relative to Ferrari - a common complaint with the W08 this year -, with Lewis Hamilton starting 13th and Valtteri Bottas finishing fourth having started in third.

Indeed, Mercedes has been vocal about its difficulties getting the Pirelli tyres to work, with Wolff remarking it is an 'Italian mystery' as to why Ferrari is faring substantially better.

"I had a short chat with him [Lewis] after the race and said: 'do you felt the grip was back?' and he said: 'the grip was back'. Why that is, it remains an Italian mystery.

"We just need to understand it because Ferrari is able to understand and race the car in these conditions and we have to do that."

It is an assertion Pirelli president Tronchetti Provera dismissed when asked by Italian TV whether he felt it was Mercedes hinting the Italian firm has a tyre better adapted for Ferrari.

"The tyres are the same for everyone. Perhaps Mercedes, have been used to lots of success and now face an uphill task, but they will come back. However, with engineers that have worked like a team, Ferrari has done something that no-one expected. You have to give them credit and you have to be satisfied by the work of an Italian team."

Ferrari and Mercedes, along with Red Bull, assisted Pirelli in conducting tests on the broader tyres by supplying drivers and mule cars last year. Notably however, while much of Mercedes' work was conducted by Pascal Wehrlein and the now retired Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took charge of Ferrari's development.



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