Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed the team will not participate in a wet weather Pirelli tyre test scheduled to take place at Paul Ricard following the Monaco Grand Prix.
Pirelli has enlisted teams to aid in the development of its new 18-inch tyres for F1’s radical rule changes being introduced in 2022, with Mercedes slated to participate at the home of the French Grand Prix.
However, that is now not the case and Ferrari will step into the gap left by the world champions.
Explaining the decision ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Wolff said: “We are trying to make the budget cap, which is not trivial and we couldn’t take the costs related to the tyre test and we wouldn’t have been able to send our mechanics on such a long journey.”
Mercedes has already confirmed it is running close to the $145million budget cap introduced to F1 this year and was affected by the heavy incident suffered by Valtteri Bottas at Imola with George Russell.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto suggested that was the reason Ferrari is in a position to fill in for Mercedes.
“As Ferrari, we always said that 2022 is our priority over 2021 and testing Pirelli tyres, helping Pirelli develop the new tyres we believe is important for us.
“Luckily enough we didn’t have a crash in Imola so eventually we have some more contingency to Mercedes today, so somehow we are happy to accept and support.”