MX23RW : Friday, August 6 02:06:54| >> :120:67790:67790:

Toto Wolff: 'Tyre situation an Italian mystery'

Pirelli hits back at conspiracy theories about Ferrari's sudden return to the top in F1 this year.

Pirelli has hit back at conspiracy theories about Ferrari's sudden return to the top in Formula 1 this year.

After three consecutive years of Mercedes dominance, it is now the red team that is clearly leading in 2017.

"At 25 points ahead, [Sebastian] Vettel is now clearly the world championship favourite," Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda told Osterreich newspaper.

One theory is that Pirelli's new, wider slicks were designed with a narrow 'tyre window' that specifically suits the 2017 Ferrari.

"Why this Ferrari succeeds [with the tyre window] and we do not is probably an Italian mystery," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera has hit back at that intimation of Italian collusion.

"This is a discussion about the seriousness of the top three teams and how they tested the wider tyres with older cars," he said.

"Mercedes tested with Pascal Wehrlein, while it was Sebastian Vettel who took the responsibility for Ferrari."

Auto Motor und Sport also quotes Provera as saying: "Sebastian even took the time to visit us in the Milan factory several times to discuss his impressions with our engineers."

The season continues with the Canadian Grand Prix next weekend.

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Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari walks across the paddock during practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 17, 2015
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina34241674
United StatesUnited States29352791
JapanJapan22101446
AustraliaAustralia1751941
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

BOXING
· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

CYCLING
· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

FOOTBALL
· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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