Mercedes did not influence Pirelli thin tread decision - Wolff

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Toto Wolff insists Mercedes never lobbied F1 tyre supplier Pirelli to introduce this weekend's thinner tread tyres which the German outfit has put to good use in Barcelona.

Following blistering issues with tyres during pre-season testing at the newly-resurfaced Circuit de Catalunya, Formula 1's exclusive tyre manufacturer opted to reduce the thickness of its rubber, not only for Barcelona, but also for Silverstone and Paul Ricard, two tracks where new asphalt was also laid down.

The rubber layer of Pirelli's compounds is therefore 0.4mm thinner this weekend, a change that has reduced the weight of the cars by a kilo and appears particularly well suited to Mercedes based on its impressive performance in qualifying on Saturday.

While teams consulted with Pirelli earlier this year, Wolff denies Mercedes had a defining role in the structural change.

"Is bollocks a bad word in English?" Wolff asked. "Rubbish. All teams had blistering, very heavy blistering at the test in Barcelona.

"Red Bull, Ferrari, ourselves. McLaren have seen it I think also. The tyres wouldn't have lasted in the race.

"And the ambient, and the track temperatures, were arctic. And for that reason Pirelli changed the thickness of the tyre to prevent blistering, and they've been successful at preventing the blistering because we haven't see it on any car today," he added.

"So I don't know where suddenly this rumour comes out that we have been influencing Pirelli and the FIA to change any tyres. I have never seen anything working like that, why should they do it?"

Wolff suggested cooler conditions than expected in Barcelona this weekend have favourably impacted the Silver Arrows performance so far, adding tongue-in-cheek that Mercedes shall also attempt to control the climate in the future!

"We seem to be competitive when the ambient is a bit cooler and the track temperature is a bit cooler," he said.

"That is a pattern that we had in the last years also. We're working on a system to change the climate wherever we go!"

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