Monaco stewards refer Mercedes protest to FIA

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013The stewards of the Monaco Grand Prix have referred Ferrari and Red Bull’s protest against Mercedes to the FIA.

Mercedes’ rivals believe they broke the sporting regulations by conducting a three-day tyre test for Pirelli in the week following the Spanish Grand Prix.

The stewards issued the following statement:

“The Stewards of the Monaco Grand Prix received protests from Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari concerning an alleged breach of Article 22.4 h) (Track and Wind Tunnel Testing) of the FIA Formula One Sporting regulations by Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.

“The stewards summoned representatives of the protesting teams, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and Pirelli.

“After hearing and collecting information the stewards will write a report to the FIA who may bring the matter before the International Tribunal.”

The stewards have official classified the results of the Monaco Grand Prix, meaning any future decision will not affect the result of today’s race.

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70 comments on Monaco stewards refer Mercedes protest to FIA

  1. Rigi (@rigi) said on 26th May 2013, 21:16

    i’d be surprised if any action was taken on mercedes.. pretty sure the’re gonna get away with this

    • I don`t think you understand the severity of what Pirelli and Mercedes have done in light of the FIA`s statement. They have deliberately gone out and done something they were not given permission to do. On top of that they kept it a secret. On top of that FIA did not have personell in place to monitor what was going on.

      The fallout of this unbelieveable affair is yet to be known. You have to realize that there are several factors in this case.

      Firstly there`a breach of trust by both Pirelli and Mercedes. That is very serious as none of Mercedes competitors will be williing to trust either Pirelli or Mercedes when they claim that no testing that benefitted Mercedes took place. They have allready been sneaking around behind the other teams backs, God only knows what else they have been up to. And there were no FIA-officials in place to confirm that no such testing took place.

      Secondly this has the potential to taint the 2013 World Championship big time. I doubt Pirelli can ever use the tyres that were tested on the 2013-Mercedes now. I think they have to either continue with the 2013 tyres unchanged or go back to the 2012-tyres. The most likely outcome is that Pirelli will go back to last years tyres as this years tyres have safety issues. If Pirelli brings new spec tyres now the suspicion that this is a result of the test conducted with the 2013-Mercedes willl always be there. They can`t do that.

      As a result Pirelli and Mercedes have brought the FIA in an impossible situation. The rules have to be broken one way or another, it`s just a matter of damage limitation for the FIA now. I`m pretty sure both parties will be punished for thsi, it`s called to “put the sport in disrepute”. There`s also the issue of putting the FIA in an impossible situation, they just don`t like that..

      • Rigi (@rigi) said on 27th May 2013, 14:00

        i am very aware of what they did… however, i’m sure they’ll get away with it. mercedes have a lot of funding and will probably only have to pay a few thousand pounds instead of getting a race ban. i really don’t think that’s gonna happen!

        personally, i’d ban them for a couple of races, i can’t imagine they didn’t benefit from that test, but who’s gonna listen to me?

  2. obviously said on 26th May 2013, 21:19

    I never understood what race stewards had to do with it in the first place. I mean, what were they supposed to do about test in Spain, two weeks ago, today in Monaco? Race stewards are race stewards. This should have been referred to FIA in the first place.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th May 2013, 1:03

      Strangely, race stewards do this kind of thing sometimes. Do you remember Melbourne stewards declared double diffuser is legal and then teams gonna have to wait until late spring to have a court in FIA?

  3. Manule said on 26th May 2013, 21:28

    Well, in light of the official info from the FIA, it seems that Mercs are in deep trouble. Brawn has clearly lied that the test was cleared by the FIA, while in reality the conditions upon which the FIA would allow such tests were not met in several key areas. It also appears that nobody in the FIA even knew that it was taking place. Regardless what happens next, I do have one question – when do people finally stop giving Ross a free pass for anything? He’s been caught lying on at lest two major occasions this season alone (ROS/HAM debacle and this). Horner (in particular), Whitmarsh or Domenicali would have been smashed by the press and public alike, and yet somehow Brawn is still a noble guy with great integrity. (It is also quite funny how people used to blame Schumacher for supposedly illegal B194 and later Ferrari deflectors and stuff, but never good old Ross.)

  4. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 26th May 2013, 21:36

    Given that we don’t really know exactly what was said by all parties, at what point, and to whom, I think it’s a bit premature to start laying the blame at anyone’s door. It does seem that this test wasn’t really fully authorised by the FIA, since the conditions weren’t met, but it’s not clear whose decision that was, who knew about it, and whether the whole thing is just a case of misunderstanding and miscommunication.

    My feeling is that Pirelli are probably the responsible party, but again, I’m cautious about making any judgments without being in full possession of the facts.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 26th May 2013, 21:49

      I don’t think the lack of communication can explain this situation. Both Pirelli and Mercedes were being extremely secretive about the test – there was no announcement, no Twitter messages, nothing. Why were they so secretive about it, if they thought they were doing nothing wrong?

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 26th May 2013, 21:53

        I’m just saying it’s too early to judge either way. Certainly Mercedes could have been acting in good faith, having been given assurances by Pirelli that they were able to do this. It does seem from the FIA statement that in a manner of speaking, they did give Pirelli authorisation to carry out tests, but with certain conditions. That being the case it seems that it should be for Pirelli and the FIA to ensure that those conditions were met, not the team(s) involved. But again, there are plenty of questions about the secrecy, the fact Brawn said he’d been given full support from the FIA, and so on.

  5. Calum (@calum) said on 26th May 2013, 22:07

    The FIA will not want to upset the apple cart too much with a manufacturer in F1.

    Renault was found guilty of a severe breach of regulations in 2009, after their previous years exploits in Singapore came to light. Similarly the result had been classified so did not change after Renault were punished, but the actual punishment was quite soft – two year suspended ban, if I recall.

    If Mercedes are guilty, it will be a very political decision by the FIA with regards to a punishment. It has to be strict enough to hurt the team, but not too harsh that it forces them out of the sport. It would be a massive blow to Formula 1 to lose a manufacturer over an incident like this, and rightly or wrongly, I think the FIA’s punishment will reflect this and be quite soft in the context (if Mercedes are guilty of a regulation breach).

    I think we will see a fine and a suspended ban (if Mercedes are guilty of a regulation breach).

  6. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 26th May 2013, 23:15

    Why are people talking about a punishment? It is blindingly obvious that this is the FIAs cock up.

  7. Kimi4WDC said on 26th May 2013, 23:53

    I bet the tyres they tested are the ones that come into play in Canada :)

  8. Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th May 2013, 1:00

    I think in-season testing should be back.

  9. TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 27th May 2013, 6:55

    Imagine that you are running Pirelli. Your name is mud in all the F1 press. Many of the big teams are complaining very strongly about aspects of your key, headline product.
    You have to do something, quickly, to head off this expensive PR disaster.
    Imagine you are a F1 driver. You are asked to help Pirelli. You say “but it’s my holidays, man” but then it’s pointed out that there are few people who (a) fit the expensive, custom made seats (b) understand the steering wheel (c) know how to drive the wheels off the car (maybe a bad analogy in this case!) and give good feedback.
    Pirelli cannot provide a driver, nor technical support. They have to get a current driver, a current car, a real team. And not a slow one. Preferably the team with the worst degradation problems.
    So that would be… Mercedes.

    • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 27th May 2013, 7:21

      (Sorry – rest of my post went missing)…

      However, Pirelli can provide the data logging and tyre technicians.
      It seems likely that Mercedes engineers learned very little from the testing of unmarked tyres. The drivers may have gained a bit of experience of tyres which may, at some time in the future, come into play.
      In any case, it will have had no impact on the Monaco result.
      I think we have to wait and see how this political mess pans out. Pirelli is clearly cheesed off with the FIA and many F1 teams. Ross Brawn will do just about anything to get an edge (he works in F1 – proof enough) and the FIA have the worst reputation for clarity and internal organisation.
      Bring on the popcorn.

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