Mercedes says there can be no grounds for disappointment over the reduced scope of Pirelli's Formula 1 tire revisions, despite having suffered with degradation more than most.
Pirelli's revisions, due to come in to force from the Canadian Grand Prix, will now be minimal after the FIA made it clear any tweaks to the rubber could only be made on safety grounds.
The governing body's stance means that Pirelli will not be allowed to make alterations to the tire specification aimed primarily at lessening tire degradation or reducing the number of pit stops. The limited scope of its changes has left Pirelli convinced that there will be no impact on the competitive order, which is bad news for teams like Mercedes and Red Bull that have struggled with the tires so far.
When asked if Mercedes was disappointed by the smaller-than-expected scale of Pirelli's changes, motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "If you struggle with the tires, like we obviously do, you can't expect the FIA to change the rules for your own benefit. This is why Lotus and Ferrari don't want the tires to change.
"The one critical issue is of safety. We've seen tires delaminating and none of us wants to have a safety issue.
"As long as the tires are safe enough, I am sportsman enough to say that we should just make the car function on the tires. The safety is my concern."
Wolff agreed that the rear tire failures that have affected a number of drivers – including Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain – were grounds enough for Pirelli to make tweaks.
"It's Pirelli's main purpose to showcase the tire," he said. "Part of that showcase is performance and part is safety.
"I think that Pirelli just wants to make sure that the tires don't cause delaminations any more. This is what they're looking at; not helping one team or another."
Force India relieved at scale of changes
One team that has expressed its relief at the limited tires changes is Force India. The team had designed its car in the expectation that there was going to be more aggressive products from Pirelli this year.
Paul di Resta admitted that it would have been "annoying" if Pirelli's tweaks had been enough to make life easier for teams that had not made as much of an effort to design a car that was sympathetic to its tires.
"We're along the lines of Ferrari and Lotus in terms of the way it is at the moment," said the Scotsman. "We dedicated so much of the winter doing what we did and the structured way in which we were putting everything we could into race performance – as we did last year. And it's been paying off. So for it to change is quite annoying.
"We knew that the way we did it might suit us better or might not; it could always have gone either way. The way I see it is that as long as there's still an aggressive compound being taken to the races, but with safety in mind, then that's the ideal way forward."