Testing row casts shadow over Rosberg’s win

2013 Monaco Grand Prix review

Mercedes went into the Monaco Grand Prix as hot favourites to win. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton duly locked out the front row of the grid on Saturday.

But on the morning of the race it emerged both drivers had taken part in a secret tyre test following the last race. Red Bull and Ferrari confirmed they were lodging a protest.

Mercedes have struggled with tyre wear in the races more than any other team this year. Suddenly their form in Monaco seemed to owe less to how the low-grip track flattered the W04, and more to what they might have learned covering three Grand Prix distances in a clandestine test.

Slow starting Mercedes stay ahead

Start, 2013 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo,Neither Mercedes driver got away particularly well when the lights went out, and Vettel took a speculative look down the inside of Rosberg. “I think I could have gone past both Mercedes but didn’t have the room, had to lift,” he said afterwards.

Rosberg went into the first corner side-by-side and that was it for Vettel’s chances of separating them, though he gave Hamilton a hard time over the opening laps.

The next cars behind them also remained in grid order. Mark Webber was followed by Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. The first driver to have gained a position at the start was Jenson Button, who’d taken Adrian Sutil at Sainte Devote.

He’d also got down the inside of his team mate at the chicane, only for Perez to cut across the run-off to stay ahead. The same happened at the swimming pool complex, and the fact that they are team mates did not stop Button pointing out on the radio that he should be given the position.

“I know we’re both team mates but he cut the chicane when I was up the inside of him to keep the position,” he complained. It took ten laps for the stewards to intervene and Perez was fortunate they told him to hand back the place instead of issuing a penalty. Nor was it his last incident of the day.

Mercedes control the race

The Mercedes drivers controlled the pace early in the race, saving their tyres and preventing the field from spreading out – denying their pursuers the chance to pit.

“I think we could see that the field didn’t spread out,” said Vettel, “they did what worked best for them”.

“It was just basically saving tyres and making the one-stop work,” said Webber. “It was completely predictable that if the race was going to stack up then the two-stop was not really an option to come back into traffic.”

It wasn’t until lap 25 that enough of a gap had opened up behind for one of the front runners to consider making a pit stop. Webber arrived first, reappearing in a gap left by the struggling Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Raikkonen, who’d been running close behind Webber, came in next. This looked like it would present an opportunity to Alonso, who had been shadowing the pair of them, and had dropped back early apparently trying to make his tyres last longer.

On lap 28 Alonso headed for the pits and for once he wasn’t even to get ahead of Raikkonen’s Lotus – although there wasn’t much in it. This was a disappointment for Ferrari, but it was nothing compared to what happened next.

Massa shunts, Hamilton loses out

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2013Felipe Massa had started from the back row after a nasty shunt in practice kept him out of qualifying. Massa had lost control of his car on a bump approaching Sainte Devote, crunched into the barrier on the left which fired him into another barrier on the exit of the corner.

Beginning lap 29, two laps after changing to the super-soft tyres, he had a very similar accident. Massa was whisked away to hospital where the doctors found all was well, but having two similar and destructive crashes in a short space of time can’t help but have an effect on him.

It certainly had consequences for the race, as the Safety Car was summoned. Vettel made it onto the pit lane before it arrived but the Mercedes pair had to finish a lap at reduced speed, driving to the Safety Car delta time, having not caught up with it yet.

Vettel returned to the track ahead of Webber and soon caught up to the Safety Car, which waved them past on the approach to Mirabeau. While they pressed on, Rosberg was arriving in the pits. Hamilton had been told to drop back so he wouldn’t have to wait too long behind his team mate. But he allowed too much of a gap to build up, and the time lost meant he fell behind both Red Bulls.

Perez takes Alonso on

The race resumed with Rosberg now missing his rear gunner. But he had little to fear from Vettel, who while the Safety Car was out was warned by his race engineer that his tyres had been “marginal” at the end of the last stint. Rosberg was advised his tyres had more than half their life left in them.

Rosberg pulled out a 1.9 second lead over Vettel on the first flying lap while a queue developed behind the Red Bulls. Hamilton was being particularly aggressive in his pursuit of Webber, even diving down the inside at Rascasse at one point. They came out side-by-side but Webber out-accelerated him to Anthony Noghes and stayed ahead.

Behind them Alonso had the McLaren pair on his heels. Button knocked the Ferrari at the Loews hairpin and Perez took advantage. He dived down the inside of his team mate at the chicane to take back the place he’d surrendered earlier. “Checo got a really good run on me coming out of the tunnel,” Button admitted afterwards, adding “I wasn’t paying attention”.

Now Perez set his sights on Alonso. Again he took his opportunity at the chicane with an uncompromising move. Alonso, knowing that championships aren’t won by needless collisions in a contest over sixth place, cut across the chicane rather than bang wheels with the McLaren.

But he knows well enough from his own experience (Silverstone 2010 in particular) that you don’t get to do that and keep your position. Protesting on the radio that he did it “to avoid a collision” was never going to wash.

Crash stops race

Max Chilton, Marussia, Monte-Carlo, 2013Before that matter was settled an alarming crash at Tabac brought the race to a temporary stop. Max Chilton had slowed at the chicane after being passed by Esteban Gutierrez, and Pastor Maldonado had drawn alongside him at the following corner.

Chilton drifted right into Maldonado’s path, pitching the Williams into the air and heavy contact with the barriers. The impact was so great one barrier broke loose and was collected by the following Marussia of Jules Bianchi. All involved were fortunate to escape injury.

During the stoppage the remaining drivers took the opportunity to change their tyres. The stewards also told Alonso to give his place to Perez when the race resumed, which he did.

After a 25-minute minute interruption the second Safety Car restart of the day saw Rosberg resume in the lead followed by the two Red Bulls, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Perez, Button and Sutil. All bar Raikkonen had opted for super-soft tyres – the Lotus driver taking a second set of softs instead.

Sutil and Perez go on the attack

Sutil went on the attack after the restart. He caught Button completely by surprise at Loews hairpin, diving down the inside of the McLaren. Five laps later he pulled exactly the same trick on Alonso, leaving the Ferrari driver eighth. The next driver ahead was Perez and McLaren were quick to warn him of Sutil’s chosen method of attack.

Perez had his hands full trying to get past Raikkonen. The pair have already crossed paths this year and Raikkonen was none too impressed when the McLaren came down the inside of him at the chicane too quickly, forcing both to cut the corner. “That idiot would have crashed into me if I hadn’t gone straight.”

Raikkonen was even less impressed when the pair collided on lap 69. Perez came from a long way back at the chicane and Raikkonen was not inclined to give him in space, moving towards the inside. The contact between them left Raikkonen with a puncture. He limped into the pits and resumed in 16th, his chances of scoring points seemingly lost.

But as in China, for all Raikkonen’s fulminations about Perez (and there was more to come after the race), the stewards found nothing wrong with what was clearly a racing incident.

Not that Perez get away cleanly. His front wing had lost several elements but he was able to continue. More serious was the damage to his brake ducts. The discs began to overheat, forcing him to pull off. As he did Alonso tried to take advantage and claim his place back from Sutil but succeeded only in losing a position to Button.

Rosberg brings it home

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2013Rosberg had to cope with a third interruption from the Safety Car before he finally got to see the chequered flag. Romain Grosjean drove into the back of Daniel Ricciardo at the chicane, taking both out of the race.

However Rosberg never looked likely to come under threat from Vettel, even if the Red Bull driver did reel off a rapid lap on the penultimate tour “for satisfaction”.

Last year’s winner Webber joined them on the podium after a race of “just driving around, saving the tyres and waiting for the chequered flag”.

Hamilton was followed home by Sutil, Button and Alonso. The latter had a strangely off-colour day which was only partly due to picking up debris on his car during the race. He suspected poor traction was the root of his problems.

Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul di Resta were promoted into the points by the late race incidents. The last point was taken – remarkably – by Raikkonen. Thanks to a performance advantage in the region of four seconds on fresh tyres he picked off both Saubers and Bottas in the final two laps.

After serving a drive-through penalty for his part in the race-stopping crash, Chilton passed Giedo van der Garde for 14th two laps from home, also aided by fresher tyres.

Van der Garde has spoiled his qualifying result by crashing into Maldonado on the first lap, forcing both to pit. The other Caterham of Charles Pic had gone out with a fire early in the race.

Controversy casts shadow over race

Nico Rosberg dominated the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. He topped all the practice sessions, took pole position and led every lap on his way to victory.

It was effectively a home race win for the German driver with a famous Finnish father, who spent much of his life in Monaco. And it came 30 years after Keke scored a memorable and brilliant Monaco win of his own.

But if Rosberg hoped any of that might take people’s minds of the controversy which came to light on the morning of the race, he was to be disappointed. The first question he faced from a journalist afterwards was: “The secret test days that you had in Barcelona – how helpful were those days for you?”

“I’m not going to comment,” Rosberg replied. “I’m not going to comment on that. You have to ask Pirelli.”

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Marussia

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79 comments on Testing row casts shadow over Rosberg’s win

  1. TMF (@tmf42) said on 27th May 2013, 6:12

    This tire test just shows how stupid the FIA structure is. Allowing Merc to run the test with the actual car was bound to blow up in their faces and even if Pirelli has the contractual right to do this test – why is a suppliers contract superseding the sporting regulations? If this turns out to be legal then any team could ask their suppliers to but a clause in the contract and use this loophole to perform in-season testing. I know I’m oversimplifying it, but principally that’s what happened here.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 15:03

      But the root of the issue is that Pirelli, uniquely, has been asked, as the tire maker, to make their tires a big factor in the racing, by F1. And uniquely, they took said tires a step too far over last year’s tires, and we have the potential for too many stops in some races, and tires delaminating. And thus the need for some in-season testing and some tweaking to the tires…a very difficult situation as some teams did better reacting to the specs they were given last September than others, and now could be hurt if changes to the tires mid-season help some of the struggling teams (Pirelli is hoping for and trying to make the new tires help everyone equally).

      So anyway, I think this is a unique and unfortunate set of circumstances, borne by, imho, too much meddling and concern over gadgety racing creating the action rather than relying on driver vs. driver creating the action, and therefore clauses in contracts for in-season tire testing are not what is needed here.

  2. Daniel (@oji) said on 27th May 2013, 6:23

    Quoting from the article above :
    Last year’s winner Webber joined them on the podium after a race of “just driving around, saving the tyres and waiting for the chequered flag”.

    This sentence says it all. Let’s just drive and enjoy the landscape, no rush, just waiting for the race to end, why bother…

  3. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 27th May 2013, 6:52

    Nothing to do with the testing controversy but I have found something that connects all 3 of Sundays winners and well I just have to share it before I head off to bed.

    Kanaan tested for BAR-Honda, BAR would go on to become Mercedes which Rosberg drives for now, Rosberg drove for Williams while that team was sponsored by Budwieser, Kanaan drove for Andretti while that team (ok it was Dario’s car but still the same team) was sponsored by Budwieser, and of course Kevin Harvick is currently sponsored by Budwieser.

  4. JS (@js) said on 27th May 2013, 7:59

    Hi! This testing is a joke. A number of questions:
    _ How come didn’t Pirelli choose at least 2 different teams to test with?
    _ Why didn’t they choose small teams with budget issues?
    _ Why didn’t they do 200km with 5 different teams?
    _ Why didn’t they choose at random and informed everyone before choosing?

    Bad bad bad, I think…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th May 2013, 9:02

      It all boils down to the fact that we really do not know whether they offered, whether teams refused @JS. Just think about it, you are supplying Pirelli your current car, in between races, running some of your GBs and engines and you yourself get NO data from it, nor are you allowed to run new parts. I am not sure every team would like it, and its well possible that smaller teams would not even want to risk a chassis at this time of the year, instead sending it up to the factory for the regular checkup, repaint etc.

      The thing with testing only short stretches on several cars is, you get more information about the cars, but less on how the tyres hold up, as you won’t be running different several sets of one type on the same car, and are unlikely to get a good picture of running several types on the same car to compare too.

      • JS (@js) said on 27th May 2013, 9:13

        Actually, I agree with what you say, you have points here (I wasn’t sure about how much datas the team gets). As to whether they asked other teams, we do not know so we’ll see but given the reactions, it seems they didn’t (but, who knows if the other teams aren’t just playing…).

        So your post does moderate my views. As for 1 car versus several, on the other hand why choosing a team whose car apparently behaves in a non-understood way regarding tyres? (Or, maybe the Mercedes guys understand but do not know how to solve it.)

        Still a question: why testing with a 2013 car? Next year, anyway, cars will be different (with a different motor even); why not testing with a 2010 car? (I don’t think it’s a budget issue, especially for a team like Mercedes: SCH just ran in a 2010 or 2011 car in Germany, and they just paid 120 000 € to reimburse photographs following HAM nice jet-sky ride!)…

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 15:17

          Personally, I think there was some urgency here. There has been an implication here that at some point other teams were given a chance to do this test, but when it came down to it I don’t think F1/Pirelli had much time for the teams to gather up a concensus and have a vote nor was there time or the need to have more than one team at the test confusing the data for Pirelli. Merc are hard on their rears, so a great team to use in order to see what other tires do better on Merc’s back end. Using a team that is already easier on the rears would be less useful for garnishing data. Using a top 3 team would invite more paranoia and complaints. Waiting for all teams to agree to something would have likely meant Pirelli would not have gotten the opporunity to nail down the best options going forward, in what is a very difficult situation for them and for F1. Pirelli has already acknowledged that lack of testing of these tires particularly in hotter climates is what caught them out. How would it look for them and for F1 if they changed the tires to prevent too many stops, and delamination, only to find they still haven’t fixed these issues with an in-season change without proper testing to confirm that the changes would work and be good for the rest of the season. Pirelli only has one shot at making changes that work to satisfy everyone as maximally as possible. And even then, the horses may have already left the barn in that regard…for some, any change they make at this point is going to help some and hurt others even if said hurt only comes in the form of helping others.

  5. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 27th May 2013, 8:56

    Nice picture of the start, Keith. It actually looks as if Hamilton got a decent start, going from 7 metres behind Rosberg to half a car length in front. Not taking risks at the first corner in Monaco is the sensible thing to do, of course, but I wonder whether Lewis, seeing this picture, would regret not contesting the lead at the first corner, seeing how the race panned out.

    What really puzzles me about yesterday’s race is Mercedes’ reaction to the safety car. First, why were both cars driving around so slowly on their way to the pits? They were actually very lucky that Vettel was picked up by the safety car and held up for a couple of corners, but still Rosberg came out only just in front (I think) and Hamilton was overtaken by both Red Bulls. If I recall correctly, Webber came out comfortably in front of Hamilton, so even if Hamilton had been stacked up behind Rosberg, he would probably still have fallen behind Vettel. I don’t know for sure, though. Does anyone have any data on how much time Hamilton lost in the pits, and how far he came out behind Vettel and Webber?

    What I also found very surprising was that Mercedes did not immediately pull their cars into the pits when Massa crashed. I understand they were reluctant to pit as they were finally doing quick laps (they were the fastest cars on track, faster than anyone who had stopped), but if the safety car had been deployed 30 seconds earlier, Hamilton and Rosberg would have been behind the safety car, the only ones on old tyres, and they would have struggled to score any points at all.

  6. Melchior (@melchior) said on 27th May 2013, 9:10

    I was somewhat surprised that Alonso was asked to relinquish his position to Perez after that attempted “Hail Mary” overtaking maneuver.
    And it was somewhat funny that Martin Brundle in one breath said that drivers need to leave room when attempting an overtaking maneuver then in another breath saying that Alonso needs to relinquish his position when Perez did not leave any room for Alonso,forcing him to run straight on.

    I am also surprised by the news that Merc had a clandestine test session with Pirelli.
    I would hope that all the other teams are allowed to have a similar test session and/or Merc should be penalised.

  7. J. Withman (@polestar31) said on 27th May 2013, 9:17

    Can anyone explain the difference between Van De Garde crashing into Maldonado, Grosjean hitting Ricciardo, and Perez taking on Raikkonen? I saw three overly aggressive moves/mistakes, yet only Grosjean is heavily penalized.

  8. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 27th May 2013, 9:33

    So the super-secret tire test row is basically down to whether they asked other teams to participate or not. Pirelli says they did, a year ago, some teams refused, some didn’t even reply ( http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-paul-hembery-defends-pirelli-on-mercedes-formula-one-test-row/ ) . Now Ferrari and Red Bull seem to be mostly upset not by the fact that the test has occurred, but with the fact they used at least some current tires. To me it looks like everyone knew about the test, they just didn’t expect to gain anything form it. Now as it seems that Mercedes gained something there is an outrage.

    Hembery’s explanations don’t add up in their entirety. The same goes for the perceived gains for Mercedes. As they were not allowed to gather data, they didn’t know which compounds they were running etc. I don’t think anything could be gained. Also Mercedes performance in Monaco doesn’t make the picture any clearer. Everybody knew that Mercedes have the best chance of wining in Monaco due to the nature of the track. It’s not by any means representative of overall performance of the car. Nor the tire degradation which said car produces.

    • JS (@js) said on 27th May 2013, 9:39

      Sure, @cyclops_pl, Mercedes was foreseen to be very strong at Monaco, and they were. It’s no surprise they won and probably not related to the testing (though, as VET pointed out, it probably did not harm them; even with no access to datas, you at least get the drivers’ feedback). But the question about the test remains:

      _ why using 2013 cars to test for the tyres, especially given the big changes forthcoming next year?

      • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 27th May 2013, 9:51

        @js

        This is exactly the thing which doesn’t add up in Hembery’s explanations. The in-season test is for emergency reasons, thus it is done to test current tires. That’s why they use a current car. Using old Renault chassis doesn’t make any sense and probably is one of the reasons the current-spec tires are behaving badly. Pirelli needed this test and needed it fast, so they didn’t bother to ask all teams for the second time as it would take time. Time Pirelli don’t have before Montreal. And this is where they put their foot wrong. They also underestimated F1′s politics, the area Red Bull and Ferrari are very capable in.

        • JS (@js) said on 27th May 2013, 9:55

          @cyclops_pl but then one thing I don’t understand: they said that 90% of the test concerned tyres for next year, and only 10% for Montreal. Next year cars will be different from this year, as 2011 were for that year, anyway…
          So, either this information is wrong, or something else is very wrong here…

          [We could also wonder why doing the test with the current pilots, and not Mercedes (or Pirelli; maybe more delicate) test drivers...]

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 15:51

            @cyclops_pl

            Now as it seems that Mercedes gained something there is an outrage.

            I don’t think there is an overwhelming feeling that Merc has gained something. If there is the possibility that the testing team would gain something (which to me would mean Pirelli would have had to share data which I don’t think they did) then why wouldn’t all teams be fighting very hard to help Pirelli do this test?

            They also underestimated F1′s politics, the area Red Bull and Ferrari are very capable in.

            I doubt highly that Pirelli underestimated F1′s politics…they’re living it as we speak and have been since their tires came under scrutiny, even last year when drivers complained they couldn’t push their cars to the limits, let alone this year. I also think Pirelli would be highly aware of how volatile this test would have been if in fact they did it with a current top 3 team.

            @js

            but then one thing I don’t understand: they said that 90% of the test concerned tyres for next year, and only 10% for Montreal.

            I’m guessing they said this because they know they can’t change the tires drastically this season…just enough to dissuade the need for 4 stop races, and to elimate the delaminations, but not enough to totally change each teams’ chassis/tire relationship that they developed based on tire specs they got last September for using toward this year’s chassis’.

            As Hemberey has hinted at, and assuming they are the tire maker for next year… next year the cars with their new engine packages and hence drastically new chassis, will on their own shake things up on the grid presumably, and so degrady tires may be needed much less so to help shake things up in F1 and make for multiple potential winners throughout the season and no processions nor one team running away with the Championship. ie. expect next years tires, whoever makes them, to be much less relied upon to shake things up. Next years tires will be more stable and it will be a chassis/engine contest next year rather than a tire conservation contest like this year.

  9. paulista said on 27th May 2013, 10:51

    he [Hamilton] fell behind both Mercedes.

    Surely you meant both Red Bulls. Now moderate me out.

  10. josephrobert (@josephrobert) said on 27th May 2013, 11:35

    Hamilton had been told to drop back so he wouldn’t have to wait too long behind his team mate. But he allowed too much of a gap to build up, and the time lost meant he fell behind both Mercedes.

    Both Redbulls

    ps, this post is the only one on the front page with out a photo of a f1 car driving at the camera directly head on!

  11. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 27th May 2013, 11:53

    @keithcollantine Meticulously (in a positive way) detailed review as always, great to relive the awesome moments. Just one small typo (may have been pointed out earlier in the comments). ‘Massa shunts, Hamilton loses out’ part, last line. It should be ‘…fell behind both Red Bulls.’

  12. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 27th May 2013, 12:11

    Well all these rows and disputes are going to rage on and on. Its now ridicolous the tyre debate, no concorde agreement, disputes over engine costs and now this. I take Ross Brawn on every word he says but why did they use Rosberg and Hamilton if it was no benefit. Sam Bird was at Barcelona and he could have done it. Why were Pirelli called to the stewards’ if they are adamant that there was a contract in place to do a tyre test. Surely this whole thing has become a mess, Bernie has his own issues the teams cant agree on anything we as fans aren’t really enjoying it. Pirelli are taking all the heat and may leave the sport. Its just a mess and its not ending soon.

  13. CLARKY (@clarky) said on 27th May 2013, 12:54

    Wouldn’t the FIA of needed to have one of its officials present at this test?

  14. dkpioe said on 27th May 2013, 13:19

    After a couple days of everyone throwing in an oppinion and working it for their own gain, and making Mercedes either look bad or good, lets just stop. think to yourself this………. as this is what has happened:

    There is a testing ban on in F1, and the mercedes team who are struggling with their tyre-wear just did a 3 day test with Pirelli in their current with their current drivers.

    Ok, now lets stop the poletics and disqualify this immoral and unsportive team that did not follow FIA regulations. There is a precedent with Mclaren being disqualified a few years ago. It’s irrelevant if Mercedes do get an advantage (which they surely have), as even Mclaren may or may not have got an advantage in the Spy-gate saga. If the FIA have no balls to do this, since Mercedes seem to be the most powerful politically now, even more so then Ferrari, then they should at least organise a 3 day test for the other teams.
    If that does not happen, i hope the other teams find loopholes to even the score, like testing the Wheel Rims for 3 weeks, the wheel rim companies can say the construction of their wheels is important to safe tyre wear :P they can write up new contracts with Ferrari and Red Bull, and make a stipulation about testing, which will go other the top of any FIA sporting codes.

    This whole thing is so dodgy, but too many people are putting their lawyer hats on, the worst of those, as usual is Ross Brawn.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 15:33

      Sounds like you actually think Merc did this test on their own even though in-season testing is banned. Surely you don’t think this is actually what happened and that Merc would think they were going to get away with said secret test? And how do explain then Pirelli going along with it and secretly supplying tires to Merc for the test? Surely you don’t think Pirelli would happily agree to help Merc this way, and not expect to get caught or for it to have massive ramifications?

      I would think that if it was as you suggest, then today’s headlines would read “Mercedes eliminated from 2013 Championships” and “Pirelli fined $100 mill for secretly helping Mercedes” (they can’t eliminate Pirelli from the Championship as that would end the F1 season).

      • dkpioe said on 27th May 2013, 15:49

        yes i do think that, and i think they probably just assume they can get away with it with rule loopholes and except the FIA not to come down on them because they are such a major player now in F1. i would not be surprised to see that type of headline in the next few days, infact i am expecting it. If Mclaren got such a penalty, then so should Mercedes. autosport website has just quoted a 2012 email which suggests that this test could only be conducted with unanimous agreement by all teams, which hasnt happened. I think Mercedes rolled the dice, 4th or 5th place is nothing – they took the 50/50 chance to go up higher this year, but i do not think they will get away with it.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 16:07

          Well I vehemently disagree, but if you want to stick to your guns and suggest Mercedes did this on their own and against the rules due to there being no unanimous agreement, then what do you have to say about Pirelli therefore being a co-conspirator since Merc would have needed tires in order to test? If you don’t think Mercedes will get away with it, then what is your suggested penalty for Pirelli? You don’t seem to implicate them whatsoever. Or are they the ‘they’ you refer to in your first few lines above in that ‘they’ are such a major player now in F1, that what…they can do whatever they want in your mind, and get away with it? Your argument is not making sense to me.

          If Merc decided on their own to try to get away with a 3 day test at a time of in-season testing being banned (something that would seem impossible to get away with to begin with) not to mention would show them to be amongst the most cheaty and immoral teams in the history of F1, then surely at the same time all the teams would be asking for the immediate resignation of Pirelli, or since they need tires for the rest of the season and they are the only tire makers, then a massive fine for them.

      • dkpioe said on 27th May 2013, 15:52

        as for pirelli, i dont think they will be accused of “conspiring” with mercedes, they did less wrong then mercedes, they do not follow FIA rules, they more follow their contract.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 16:14

          If this test was not about Pirelli needing help to test tires that will be an improvement for everybody going forward, that won’t require 4 stoppers and won’t delaminate, and instead was about them helping Mercedes with a 3 day test to help them do better in the Championships, then you think the other teams are going to just sit on their hands and do nothing? Gimme a break. You are suggesting an F1 that is far more corrupt than is imaginable by even the most paranoid.

          • dkpioe said on 27th May 2013, 17:10

            the other teams will not sit on their hands, THEY ARE ALREADY NOT, so you go have a break. it is not paranoia, it is f1 with lawyers and poletics. mercedes are trying to get one up over others because they have suddenly become important, they have sudden political power this year, and they have not much to lose trying this – if they are excluded from the championship – well at least they will still get better race results for the rest of the year, no one will care anymore at the end of the year, or next year when they may have more momentum, they didnt for mclaren after their exclusion. as for pirelli, . barcelona was the hardest on tyres on all f1 tracks as always. pirelli know this more then anyone else, and they do not need a 2013 mercedes to help them with tyre stops and delaminations, as monaco has shown. Pirelli are covered legally more then an f1 team is, they will get away with it. Mercedes will not – although Mercedes are such a rubish team (considering their budget), that Redbull and Ferrari may not follow this up if the protest is refused, they know the Mercedes history since 2010, they can not develop a car and 1000km of testing for them is like 200km for other teams, so if results do not flow for mercedes, all may be forgotten.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th May 2013, 18:38

            Lol…Merc is suddenly important, and suddenly have political power? How so? And so much political power that they figure they’ll get away with this, or if excluded, so what? What rubbish.

            And you claim Pirelli did not need a 2013 Merc to help them with tire stops and delaminations…so why would the collude with Merc then and risk showing favouritism by providing tires for Merc’s test? Not that it was Merc’s test, it was Pirelli’s test anyway.

            Your argument holds no water.

  15. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 27th May 2013, 17:38

    So, it seems the Ferrari test was nothing more than a Corsi Clienti promo.

    @keithcollantine I hope you’re satisfied now?

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