Photo: Mercedes with rear tyres swapped at Monaco

This pic, courtesy of AMG Mercedes, shows a swapped rear tyre at Monaco

This pic, courtesy of AMG Mercedes, shows a swapped rear tyre at Monaco

Further to yesterday’s story about teams swapping left and right rear tyres, here is an official photo from the AMG Mercedes website, clearly showing a right rear tyre fitted on the left of a W04 at Monaco. Note the directional arrow, and the code ‘R22’.

Did Mercedes try this technique, already used by other teams, at the Barcelona test? It would be fascinating to find out. I’ve put the question to Pirelli and am awaiting an answer – a Mercedes spokesman was unable to comment on what the team did with tyres in Spain. [Update: After reading this story Mercedes F1 contacted me to say that they have been trying tyre swapping since as early as Melbourne.]

You can read yesterday’s story here:



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11 responses to “Photo: Mercedes with rear tyres swapped at Monaco

  1. **Paul**

    Adam, do you know which other teams are using this technique? You insinutated on your initial post about this that it’s teams who get on well with the tyres, so maybe Lotus, Ferrari and/or FI ?

    I’m very surprised teams are allowed to do this on safety grounds given that you’d expect the tyres to be designed to run one way round only. Could this have contributed to the delamination we’ve seen a few times this season?

    The evidence against Mercedes just seems to mount up and up, not great for them, and I personally expect them to get a ban of at least two races, probably three. I think if we look back at teams who’ve intentionally cheated (Folks can say what they want, but that’s what it looks like Merc have done), BAR got a two race ban for it’s dual fuel tanks. That was a device which could simply be removed and didn’t give them a compeitive advantage post penalty, unlike the potential data and running Merc have had.

    Whilst some have backed Brawn’s integrity, I’m inclined to think he’s no angel. Thinking back to double diffusers (not illegal but a loophole), questionable parts on Ferrari’s like felixble floors, rumours of traction control on the MSC winning Benetton, etc etc.

  2. Graham

    Is there any evidence of Mercedes running with swapped tyres prior to Monaco?

  3. Racehound

    A ban of 2 races has to be the optimists staring into a crystal ball!!! This SHOULD and probably will result in exclusion from this years Constructors Championship for Mercedes!!! Seems like Hammy is making a habit of screwing whichever team he is driving for.

  4. Domenico

    Investigative journalism. Finally someone who digs into the details to create a rich tapestry of data and fact for us keen F1 followers to absorb with confidence.

    Once again Adam, many thanks! Your blog is my Number 1 choice for factual, non biased information to all things F1.

    You leave many of the other old school F1 journalists in the shade.

  5. Matt Larkin

    Surely the point is that only a factory team, effectively only Merc or Ferrari, could actually do a 1000km test as they would need access to the engines to do it as teams are only permitted to use 8 engines per year per car. And if you have spare engines knocking around, surely you’ve been planning the test for a decent while, rather than something which has suddenly occurred?

  6. Isha Goel

    Thank you for fact based real insights rather than stupid conspiracy theories that have flooded other forums. One of the FIA’s condition to allow pirelli mercedes test was that the test should be run by pirelli? Doesn’t that include Pirelli test drivers to actually drive the car rather than active F1 drivers taking part. Even if one assumes Mercedes did not test any new components like their new gearbox, surely with Hamilton and Rosberg driving 2013 car, it was an advantage over other teams.

    • Am sure that’s one of the issues that will be discussed, but you can imagine that Mercedes were not keen to put Alguersuari in their car – and Ferrari set the precedent by using PDLR, ironically a former Pirelli tester! Pirelli claim they want to do a series of tests and realistically it’s hard to imagine JA or LdiG being allowed to gradually work their way around all the top cars on the grid…

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