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Criticism of 2019 tires 'totally wrong' - Pirelli
Mario Isola defends his made-for Mercedes tires
Mario Isola defends his made-for Mercedes tires

(GMM) Pirelli has hit back at claims its 2019 tires only suit the dominant Mercedes car.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko goes so far as to call the thinner-treaded Pirellis for this year "Mercedes tires", telling Auto Bild: "Unfortunately our drink cans are not delivered with tires."

Mario Isola, Pirelli's F1 boss, told Italy's Tuttosport: "It's totally wrong to say that we produce the tires for Mercedes.

"The FIA, FOM, the teams and the drivers were involved in the acceptance of these tires," he insisted.

"Last year we suffered so much from blisters and the drivers complained about the tires overheating so we tried to improve.

"The new tires were tested in Abu Dhabi so that comparisons with the 2018 tires could be made. We brought the same identical compounds to the Barcelona tests and still no one complained.

"Mercedes is winning because they designed a very strong car. These tires require more energy and if you have a fast car it is easier to use them," Isola added.

Nonetheless, he said it is possible the tires could be changed.

"Yes, but seven of the ten teams or the FIA must ask for it and no request has been received," said Isola.

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