Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes returning to Pirelli’s 2018 tyres would do away with the philosophy of “unforgiving excellence” in Formula 1.

It is understood that some teams are pushing for a mid-season change to revert back to last year’s tyre specification after becoming increasingly frustrated with the thinner-tread compound introduced for 2019, believing the change has aided Mercedes retain its dominant position at the top of the pecking order.

Such an event is highly unlikely, given that it would require at least seven of F1’s 10 teams to lobby for the move, or for the FIA to push it through on extenuating circumstances such as on safety grounds.

“I think it’s pretty logical that the ones they feel that they haven’t understood the tyre properly will try to trigger change in the tyres,” Wolff said.

“My sportsman approach is that I don’t think F1 should change the rules because some are doing better than others, and I don’t mean it in an arrogant way - on the contrary, but this is an unforgiving, hi-tech sport.

“We have given it a big push over the winter to get on top of our set-up issues and understand how the tyres functioned last year. We were given a few sets in Abu Dhabi to try to understand and it seems that we have done OK.

“Changing the regulations mid-season is something that, it is almost like introducing a balance of performance in a sport that was always about unforgiving excellence.

“If the sport needs that then we need to have a debate about the philosophy as the pinnacle of motor racing.”

Mercedes holds a comfortable lead in both world championships heading into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix after winning all eight races so far this campaign.



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