Red Bull: Mercedes the only team against reintroducing 2018 tyres

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner claims Mercedes would be the only team against bringing back last year's Pirelli tyres.

For 2019, the Italian supplier reduced the tread depth on all compounds in an attempt to prevent the blistering seen at some circuits last year.

This followed their use at three venues last year, Barcelona, Paul Ricard and Silverstone, all of which had been newly resurfaced, with Mercedes the team that had pushed Pirelli the hardest to make the change.

“The tyre was made thinner and stiffer gauge and profile for this year,” Horner explained to Sky Sports

“That, therefore, takes an awful lot more energy and it’s an awful lot harder to get the tyre going and to generate that heat in the tyre.

“Mercedes, when we ran these tyres at the races last year, won [two of] the races these tyres actually were introduced on.”

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Now being used on a full-time basis, the Brackley-based team has been a big beneficiary as Ferrari and Red Bull have struggled to adapt to the new tyres.

Not only that, but many of the midfield teams are also finding them impossible to work with and that led to Horner making this request to Pirelli.

“The best thing obviously would be if they went back to last year’s tyres,” he said.

“You’d probably fined nine teams happy with that and one team fairly unhappy with that. But in the interests of entertainment in Formula 1 that would be a noble thing for Pirelli to do.”

Unsurprisingly, Mercedes' Toto Wolff reacted just as the Red Bull boss predicted describing the attempted lobbying as "opportunistic".

"Every year we have new tyres from Pirelli," he said. "Sometimes you manage to understand them quicker. Sometimes you struggle more.

"As fair competitors out there, we need to make the best of what's been given to us unless it becomes a safety issue. Like we've had in the past.

"Pirelli's been given an impossible task, telling them to give us tyres that degrade so that strategies become exciting," the Austrian continued.

"Once we have tyres that degrade people are asking to have tyres that last longer.

"I think we need to protect and support Pirelli in their task to give a tyre that hopefully suits everybody.

"This is what we're doing and not letting ourselves to be distracted with voices that don't matter."