Ferrari admits tyres could hold the key to Mercedes' advantage

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Ferrari has admitted the challenge of this year's Pirelli tyres could be handing Mercedes a significant advantage.

Following criticism at the amount of blistering seen last year, the Italian supplier introduced the same thinner treaded concept as seen at a handful of races last year.

At two of the three Grands Prix where they were used in 2018, Mercedes would dominate, with Sebastian Vettel winning the third at Silverstone.

However, adapting to their use at every race this season has proven problematic for many teams up and down the grid, with Max Verstappen even suggesting the German manufacturer is the only outfit to understand them.

"The tyres are difficult to manage, that is true," Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto agreed to Autosport. 

"Tyres are a significant key performance factor of the car and so management and optimisation are key for the overall performance of the car itself."

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Ferrari customer Haas has been one of the biggest critics of the current rubber, with their results in the midfield heavily influenced by failing to get enough heat into the compounds.

And finding the optimum window has been the problem at the Italian team too.

"The tyres this year are behaving differently compared to last year," Binotto continued.

"I have to say that from the Pirelli point of view they achieved their targets, the tyres are not blistering which was, certainly from the safety reason, good.

"But understanding and addressing and optimising the performance is part of our job and if I may say, certainly it is not obvious, not straightforward, not an easy task.

"This weekend [in Spain] we had various situations," he revealed.

"The track temperature was quite different from Saturday morning to the afternoon to today, and that is part of the data that we need to analyse over the weekend to understand our car behaviour."

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