Was Mercedes really helped by the tyre change?

Was Mercedes really helped by the tyre change?

Mercedes' return to dominance in Spain coincided with Pirelli making a significant change to its tyre specification. Were the two connected, what effect did the tyre adjustment really have, and was it a sign of favouritism towards Mercedes?

There's been a lot of talk about tyres so far in the 2018 Formula 1 season, but during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend a combination of Mercedes getting back on top and a change in the Pirelli tyre specification prompted even more of it.

Pirelli's decision to reduce the tyre gauge (the tread thickness) is something that can have a major influence on how tyres behave and warm up, and how they hold that heat. It's another learning curve for the teams, so the question is: did this help Mercedes, and why?

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