Red Bull and Ferrari protest Mercedes over tyre test

2013 Monaco Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Red Bull and Ferrari have launched a protest against Mercedes following the team’s tyre test after the Spanish Grand Prix.

“We’ll feel it’s not in line with the rules so that’s why we’ve protested before the race irrelevant of what the outcome of the race is,” said team principal Christian Horner. “We just want clarity.”

“I think it’s important to be brought to a head. I don’t think we’re probably the only team to that feels that way but I think that’s just the situation.”

“It’s not Pirelli’s fault. I think Pirelli need to sort their situation out. The problem is the manner in which this has been dealt with has not been right.”

Mercedes’ non-executive director Niki Lauda said Mercedes sought and obtained permission from the FIA to conduct the test. However the FIA Sporting Regulations forbid testing during the season.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn explained: “We were approached by Pirelli and asked about a tyre test. They were very concerned about some of the problems they were having recently. They didn’t feel the car they’d been using was representative.”

“Within their agreement with the FIA there’s a provision to ask any team to do a 1,000km tyre test. We ran that past the FIA, made sure they were happy with it, and they were. And we conducted the test after the race in Barcelona.”

“We didn’t know – when you do a Pirelli test you get codes, you don’t know what they tyres are. Each day there was a batch of tyres, we still don’t know what the conclusions from that are.”

Brawn denied the test was used to test new parts on the W04 and said they did not attempt to keep it a secret from the other teams:

“I don’t think it was secretive. While we were setting up to do the test all the other teams were still there. Why didn’t they see that our trucks weren’t going home. There was no attempt to make it a secret test.”

“It’s up to Pirelli to inform people if they wish to conduct a tyre test. It’s not our responsibility to advise people. So there was no attempt to make it secret.”

The FIA stewards confirmed the details of the hearing as follows:

“Protests have been lodged by Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari concerning an alleged breach of Article 22.4 h) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

“Both teams allege that the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has conducted three days of track testing using a 2013 car on the 15th, 16th, 17th of May in Barcelona, i.e. between the period which precedes the start of the first Event of the championship and 31st December of the same year.”

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