Wolff reiterates need for Bahrain testing


After Nico Rosberg’s testing session was hampered due to rain, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff again reiterated his desire for Formula 1 to move their 2017 testing to Bahrain rather than Barcelona.

Many people across the Formula 1 paddock disagreed, including Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who said it would be too costly.

Although sympathising with the argument made by Horner, Wolff still feels that it will only benefit the teams on the grid if they go to the Middle-East as it will help Pirelli accurately collect data.

“We heard Pirelli ask for representative testing on a track where they can actually learn, where the tyres are in the proper operating window and Bahrain offered itself to host those tests,” said the Austrian.

“Niki (Lauda) was championing those tests because from his standpoint we need to give Pirelli all the possibilities to assess those new tyres. That is a fair and square initiative.

“There are teams that are not keen to go to Bahrain because they don’t feel it is to their advantage or because it is too cost intensive, which I can understand as an argument but I think what is happening is the ball will go back to Pirelli and the FIA to see what kind of set of circumstances Pirelli need to properly test the tyres and finance it and make it viable to smaller teams.

“This is our tyre supplier, they need to tell us what they need in order to come up with a tyre that keeps integrity and provides a spectacular show.

“If they come up and say ‘we need to go to Bahrain’ everybody starts to have an opinion and it’s 25 different opinions. That’s not helpful for the case, in my opinion.

“Because the risk in Barcelona is you could have a couple of dreadful days in February, it’s freezing in the morning and too cold in the day to really get the tyres in a critical area to find out how far you can push the tyre in terms of the integrity of the tyre, not only the grip levels. We need to stop giving opinions about what should be reasonable and what should be sensible to do.”