More details of Mercedes’ secret test emerge

F1 Fanatic round-up

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Cataunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: Details about Mercedes’ tyre test emerge which suggest it was more secretive than the team claimed.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Pirelli test secrecy ?ǣ James Bond… or Johnny English? (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Why the excessive security measures? Why stop members of the public from observing from outside the venue, never mind wandering around the spectator areas, enjoying the chance to see the car that was on pole a few days before?”

Hankook rules out 2014 F1 tyre bid (Autosport)

Hankook DTM competition engineer Michael Eckert: “We are not ready to jump into Formula 1 for 2014, it’s not our goal short-term.”

Susie Wolff: ‘You have to make the most of it when that chance comes’ (The Guardian)

“I’ve applied for my Superlicence [to drive in F1]. I’m trying to get more track time. What I fear happening is an opportunity coming and not being ready for it. Because that opportunity will only ever come once.”

W196 meets W02 at Silverstone (Mercedes via YouTube)

Tweets

Snapshot

Timo Glock, BMW, Red Bull Ring, DTM, 2013

Former F1 driver Timo Glock raced from twelfth to third for his first DTM podium in the third round of the championship at the Red Bull Ring. Bruno Spengler won followed by Marco Wittmann, making it a one-two-three for BMW at the former home of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Comment of the day

Out of over 100 Caption Competition entries those from Gilles de Wilde, Todfod, Starbuck, DionMach1 and Chris Browning.

But I picked this from @Adam1 as the winner:

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monaco, 2013

??So you remembered to invite all the teams right???

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tom Parfitt!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jackie Stewart’s win in the Monaco Grand Prix 40 years ago today made it three-all between him and reigning champion Emerson Fittipaldi in terms of victories in the opening six races of the 1973 season.

Fittipaldi finished second, retaining a four-point lead in the championship, with his team mate Ronnie Peterson third. The race also saw James Hunt make his Formula One debut, though he retired with an engine failure.

Here’s some footage from the race:

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100 comments on More details of Mercedes’ secret test emerge

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:18

    Love the caption competition. It’s simple but classic and effective!

  2. Calum (@calum) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:22

    Hats of to BMW (2nd year of DTM) and Volkswagen (1st year of WRC), both doing really well this year with their relatively new motorsport ventures picking up wins in their respective categories.

    • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:26

      I was thinking about how embarrassing it is for Merc and Audi to be getting hammered so badly by the newcomer.

      • Kinkas said on 3rd June 2013, 8:40

        What about thinking that BMW and VW are only competing at DTM and WRC respectively (therefore, only investing on them), whilst Merc and Audi are spread between DTM, F1 and Le Mans?

        • tyresmoke (@tyresmoke) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:51

          BMW is in LeMans (GTE) and WTCC
          VW owns Audi and SEAT so LeMans and WTCC and is an engine supplier to F3

          • UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 3rd June 2013, 16:55

            But neither of those is a factory afford any more. They only developed the car some time ago and don’t do anything like preparing the races any more. And I’m not even sure BMW will race LM this year they only race in the ALMS. At VW all this manufacturers are still separated departments with separate money and people.

  3. KateM (@katem) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:30

    I’m only two paragraphs into that article about Susie Wolff and I’m already torn between what I find more funny: the ludicrous suffragette analogy or stating that in her DTM career “she competed strongly for seven years, in a way that would suggest that she is something more than a novelty”. I think Paul Weaver needs to read Edd Straw’s Autosport piece on not patronizing female drivers rather sharpish.

    Really pleased for BMW and particularly Glock. I love F1, but it doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all for a driver. I’m glad he’s got a chance to show his talents and moreover earn from them in another series.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 3rd June 2013, 2:43

      I believe that if Susie Wolf is allow to drive in a F1 races it will be an insult and a diservice to all the female racers in the world

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 3rd June 2013, 4:43

        @celeste I think your statement is a bit harsh, but I see your point. If F1 is going to see a female driver among its ranks again, it has to be the right one. One who gets there on merit, and not just on gender. If F1 puts a pretty face in the car who ends up going nowhere, it’ll set the woman’s fight back a few decades again.

        • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 3rd June 2013, 6:54

          yeah because f1 has never had useless male drivers.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 3rd June 2013, 12:05

            yeah well Mr. Cynic, show me a driver from the current times(no “gentleman racers” from the 50′s), who’s as useless and had such a pathetic junior career as Susie Wolff

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:15

            @montreal95: Easy. Pedro Diniz.
            1995 F1 Debut
            1994 International Formula 3000: 3 pts, 13th.
            1993 International Formula 3000: 0 pts.
            1992 British Formula 3: 8 pts, =12th.
            1991 British Formula 3: 1 pt, =11th.
            1990 Formula Three Sudamericana: 4 pts, =15th.
            1989 Brazilian Formula Ford: ?, 6th.
            1987-88 Karting: ?

            Wolff’s career is positively flowing compared to that resume! And Diniz raced in F1 for 6 seasons.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:39

            @dvc Positively flowing compared to Diniz? She never won anything even in karting(her highest being 10th overall at 1 of the championships), and was only placed as BRDC finalist of 2003 because she’s a woman, a guy with her level of “achievement” would never be there. The highest she’s ever been at any championship was Renault UK she was 5th in her 2nd season with 3 podiums. She was even worse than Diniz in F3 and never got as high as F3000. In DTM she was useless, again only there because of being a woman(though slightly better than Rahel Frey)

            Diniz was a bad pay driver but even he was better than S. Stoddart

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:45

            @montreal95: You asked for a worse junior career. They were the terms you set out. I believe I’ve met them.

            I’ve compared their open wheel careers. Wolff finished on the podium in some of her junior open wheel races (Formula Renault). As far as I can ascertain Diniz never managed that.

            The fact that Diniz made it to Formula 3000 and Wolff didn’t is hardly relevant because clearly in Diniz’ case he didn’t make it to F3000 based on prior results.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:41

            @dvc I don’t believe you have met my “terms”. Since Pedro Diniz hadn’t raced in FRenault and it’s a lower category than F3, I don’t believe you could say those podiums are in her favor. And same thing you said about P. Diniz’s F3000 being not because of talent can definitely be said about Susie Stoddart’s DTM, F1 testing, F3 participation, BRDC nomination etc. She was there because she’s a woman

            Point is, despite what the poster with the long name said, were Wolff to drive F1 in a race it would be a disgrace, to women most of all, despite the fact that there were bad F1 drivers before

          • FIA said on 4th June 2013, 1:08

            @montreal95 Kimi Raikkonen never raced in a higher category than Formula Renault before he raced in F1. Are you saying Diniz had a better Jnr record than Kimi?

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 3rd June 2013, 12:25

          @journeyer Don’t believe @celeste ‘s being harsh at all. I watched Susie Stoddart in DTM and she’s nowhere near top level. Neither are Danica Patrick, Rahel Frey etc. In fact there’s only one female driver active today ,outside some junior category which I don’t know about, that can get to F1 eventually on merit and that is Simona de Silvestro. I actually saw her race live way back in 2007 at Road America in her first season of FAtlantic, and was impressed simply because she wasn’t buried at the back ,owing her driving to being a woman, but was fighting as hard as anyone in the upper half against such guys as Hinchcliffe. It eventually led to her retirement, but she had made her point. Seeing her today showing very well against such a team-mate as Kanaan doesn’t really surprise me. I believe her first Indycar victory ain’t far away. Now what I find infuriating is how many people never heard of her, simply because she’s not as pretty as Danica Patrick

          • budchekov (@budchekov) said on 4th June 2013, 2:01

            Agreed, Simona had a darn fine aggressive drive at St. Petersburg, running third and pushing second until her tires gave out and she had to settle for 6th.

    • I still think McLaren would have been far better off giving that seat to Glock and not Perez. Glock was a much better prospect for their team IMO, hes quick and clever. Though unfortunatly for Glock, he dosnt bring one of the biggest companys/richest men in the world with him to the squad. Would his skill/craft have brought them more money in terms of championship points than Perez brings in out-right cash?

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 4th June 2013, 9:12

      FIA I hope your comment is sarcastic?!! KR got poached from FRenault after winning 13 of 23 races, having a successful test, and then keeping his super-license based on talent with no money involved. I was comparing Diniz and Wolff’s junior careers overall progression.

  4. matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:55

    Of course it was very secretive! It wouldn’t have taken so long to become public knowledge otherwise. This has all the makings of a legitimate scandal without any unnecessary hyperbole. We don’t need anybody trying to refute that it was secretive, nor anybody counter-proving the very obvious fact that it was in fact secretive. There’s plenty enough about the affair to argue about already.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2013, 6:43

      Well, what that article does nicely though, is inform us of observations. Both by comparing the tests (Pirelli might, and probably will, mention that pictures of the first coming online were the reason for upping security), and by drawing a picture of how secret, or not, these tests really were.

      That helps us form our opinion and understand the issue more clearly. And those tests definitely were held as secretively as they could

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 3rd June 2013, 7:37

      @matt90 Then again we have Toto Wolff saying the test wasn’t secretive because the other teams should’ve noticed they weren’t packing, Paul Hembery saying it wasn’t a secret because Pirelli reserved the track with their own name and numerous commentators repeating these arguments. So in my opinion articles like that aren’t useless.

      • MJ4 said on 3rd June 2013, 10:06

        we have Toto Wolff saying the test wasn’t secretive because the other teams should’ve noticed they weren’t packing

        I’ve read somewhere that other teams’ employees had actually said Mercedes was packing on Sunday night, just like the rest.

        (Anyway, this is from the same “Honest Toto” who said Rosberg was told to back off in Malaysia because they were afraid the two teammates would crash…)

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd June 2013, 0:59

    Secrecy, maybe, but if Pirelli were trying to re-create tyre failure they would hardly want uninformed reports and photos circulating.

  6. matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd June 2013, 1:00

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Kubica’s win, unless it’s going to be an article soon.

  7. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 3rd June 2013, 1:15

    4 storys about pirelli in 8 days and they sound more deranged each one that passes go outside adam cooper the weathers been lovely.

  8. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 3rd June 2013, 1:17

    Can’t blame Hankook one little bit for heading off any premature ideas of their company entering into the F1 tire supplier hot seat for next season. What was said about how long it would take them to properly prepare beforehand (years of planning and testing) made a lot of sense. What other company could adequately fill the position of F1 tire supplier for 2014 at this late date? Looks like F1 is stuck with Pirelli for 2014 (and vice-versa). Unless, F1 becomes really stuck with no tire supplier if and when Pirelli declines for 2014.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 3rd June 2013, 1:30

      @bullmello

      What other company could adequately fill the position of F1 tire supplier for 2014 at this late date?

      Bridgestone & Michelin.
      If the 2014 tires are going to be more conservative anyway due to the new engines and ERS then the old Bridgestones would probably be a good choice. Although I’d quite like to see F1 left with no choice but to go begging Michelin to supply the new tires only to have Michelin agree on the condition that they’ll be the low profile tires they wanted to bring in a few years ago.

      • Dizzy said on 3rd June 2013, 2:48

        Back in 2010 Pirelli never got the deal for 2011-2013 until the end of July & they managed to have tyres ready for 2011 & I’d argue that there 2011 tyres were the best they have produced.

        With a bigger budget, more resources available, Past F1 experience & current top class racing experience (LMP1 cars) I would think Michelin would be able to get tyres ready in the same, if not smaller time frame.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2013, 6:45

          Yes, but Michelin wants to get in only when they get low profile tyres (well and they wanted competition too). And that is not going to happen for the near future

  9. tmax (@tmax) said on 3rd June 2013, 1:59

    So now even if the Mercedes car improve because of their genuine work , it would be claimed that this was because of the secret test advantage. If they do not gain anything then they are in even worse state. Given that they are putting in a lot of efforts to improve their race pace, it is likely that they will gain some advantage. Not the best state to be in for Mercedes.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 3rd June 2013, 2:48

    wouldn’t it be possible that, after no negotiations with Pirelli or any other supplier, FIA is left without any suppliers, and so that on this special scenario FIA lets teams to look for their suppliers by themselves? I think this has never happened, and probably the “rich teams” could take advantage of it, but it would certainly be interesting to see wich solutions the teams bring on. And it wouldn’t be against the rules, because there wouldn’t be any official supplier…

  11. TMF (@tmf42) said on 3rd June 2013, 6:11

    Pirelli will be the supplier next year – I’m pretty sure of that. But they need to step up their game, because each year they came up with tires that never worked the way they wanted and each season they had to tweak something after the first few races.
    And I’m tired of the excuses delivered by Hembery – the lack of testing in F1 is nothing new or which was forced upon them. It’s just now, with a major screwup, that it helps them to play the role of the victim.

    • Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 3rd June 2013, 22:17

      To be fair to Pirelli, no-one’s ever been asked to design tyres that wear after a certain amount of time before and Bridgestone had much more experience in F1 when they had to design new tyres without testing.
      I can’t blame them for getting it a bit out after a few races the first few times but this year has been a total disaster to be quite honest.

  12. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 3rd June 2013, 6:39

    I’m sorry i’m against Pirelli and all hos kingdom in F1. Tyres make a great part of the race but not so great that the only thing talked about is Pirelli this and that.
    The last straw, is this test, it’s a shame, that beeing and having very regid with rules FIA still has not got a stand about it, and Pirelli and Mercedes yet have not been penalised about it, because all of the teams in the F1 were already.
    Pirelli has given the image of amateurs that cannot follow rules and live by them….
    It’s a MEGA mistake giving them singly the tyre’s supplier monopoly

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 7:49

      @hipn0tic

      Pirelli and Mercedes yet have not been penalised about it, because all of the teams in the F1 were already.

      No, they have not been penalised yet, because the FIA needs to find out exactly what happened and decide if rules were broken. Remember, we only know part of the story for now. There’s probably a lot going on that we haven’t been told. And the FIA cannot make a knee-jerk reaction to something like this. If they did, teams would be making wild accusations about one another to try and get their rivals banned without a second thought so that they could score more points. And nobody wants that.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd June 2013, 8:15

      @hipn0tic

      Pirelli and Mercedes yet have not been penalised about it

      The FIA are looking into it and we don’t know whether they’re going to be punished or not. I’d rather they make a correct decision than a hasty one.

  13. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 3rd June 2013, 8:34

    @prisoner-monkeys – If you’re saying that they need to know the story, then i share you’re opinion but, this can came like an example for further teams and wit the time going by i’m sure this will be forgotten or will have no arm on Mercedes and Pirelli aspirations.

    @keithcollantine why should not Mercedes and Pirelli be punished? Or Ferrari? The rules were broken, c’mon its obvious, or that or FIA will know take part of one side, and then the truth in F1 is lost

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd June 2013, 8:46

      @hipn0tic I didn’t say they shouldn’t be punished. I said if they are to be punished it should be the correct punishment, i.e. one commensurate with the extent to which they broke the rules and whatever advantage they may have gained. And the same goes for Ferrari.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 8:47

      @hipn0tic

      why should not Mercedes and Pirelli be punished? Or Ferrari? The rules were broken, c’mon its obvious

      This is exactly what I was talking about when I said that there should be no knee-jerk reactions. Taken at face value, yes, the rules were broken: a team carried out a test when the rules say that is not permitted.

      However, consider Pirelli’s defence that they were testing preliminary tyre compounds for 2014. The data gathered would have been no use to Mercedes, since those compounds will not be used in 2013. And given that Pirelli revise their compounds several times while they are in development, Mercedes will get no advantage from it in 2014 because the tyres will not be the same. While the rules state that testing cannot be carried out on a car from the current or immediately-previous season – meaning that the 2011 car would be the earliest car they could use – one of the major problems Pirelli has faced is the way nobody has been willing to make a current chassis available, so they have developed tyres one a chassis that is at least two years out of date, and this has meant that the tyres are performing differently to what they expected. By using a 2013 car, they get current data on tyre performance and behaviour, which will mean the 2014 tyres do what Pirelli intend for them to do.

      So although a test has been carried out when it should not have been, the circumstances behind the test exonerate all involved. Nobody gained anything from it except for Pirelli, who gained data for 2014 in the hopes of developing tyres that address the criticisms everyone has been levelling at them all year.

      • Makana (@makana) said on 3rd June 2013, 9:03

        It’s amazing how people now want FIA to be fair and balanced and take its time to judge if what the German Merc did is a breach or not. I imagine if it was Ferrari with all that “secrecy”; we would now be laughing at the audacity they had to test with a 2013 car and the current drivers, if it was Red Bull everyone would scream Cheats in a blink after so many failed attempts in the past (flexi-wing, exhausts…). But all is calm and rational, all is looking for logic, which is Great and I’m all for it – but let’s face it, the elephant in the room is good ol’ Hammy, Lewis is part of Mercedes and wide fan base don’t want to see him crucified by proxy.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd June 2013, 9:28

          @makana Spare us the ‘you’re only saying this because it’s so-and-so, you’d be saying something else if it was such-and-such’, please. It’s boring and repetitive and you could say the same thing about the response to any story.

          We gets comments like this on everything. “You’re being hard on Vettel, you’re never this hard on Alonso,” followed by “you’re slagging off Ferrari, why can’t you slag off Mercedes some more,” followed by “you’re having a go at Hamilton again, why don’t you have a go at Button for once,” followed by “stop picking on McLaren, you wouldn’t say that about Red Bull,” followed by, followed by, followed by…

          Everyone gets criticised. Everyone gets praised. Probably not in equal amounts but is it worth whingeing about? No.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 9:29

          @makana – I have no strong feelings one way or the other towards Lewis Hamilton. I don’t particularly like him, and I don’t particularly dislike him. So your insinuation that I want a fair and balanced judicial process on the subject for the sake of protecting Hamilton’s championship is completely baseless.

          The reason why I want a fair and balanced judicial process is because I want a fair and balanced judicial process. If it is decided that the rules have been broken, then by all means, the guilty party or parties should receive the appropriate punishment for their actions. But rushing to a snap judgement based on the assumption of guilt because one team with an obvious agenda – Red Bull, who have been demanding that Pirelli adapt their compounds to suit them all season long – cried foul and have willingly and repeatedly ignored any statements from those involved (they have yet to address Pirelli’s statement from Friday) seems like a really bad idea to me.

          • Makana (@makana) said on 3rd June 2013, 9:58

            @keithcollantine @prisoner-monkeys Guys Guys! I was not aiming at anyone in this particular thread when I said “All”, I actually meant the media in general (for example Sky: how they handled Malaysia’s drama and how they handled Pirelli-Gate) and Lewis’ fanbase so sorry for the ambiguity.

            It’s an observation, I think a valid one, about how the media is “not outraged” by such an obvious breach in regulations. And I said that I’m all for balanced and well thought verdict, I only became a regular lately at FanaticF1 because of the balanced and insightful content.

          • Tyler (@tdog) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:02

            rushing to a snap judgement based on the assumption of guilt because one team with an obvious agenda – Red Bull … cried foul

            @prisoner-monkeys you overlook the fact that Ferrari also protested.

            There’s also a certain irony in (properly) admonishing others not to rush to judgment until all the facts are known, and at the same time casting aspersions now upon one team (of two) which protested.

            Whatever your view of the controversy, and whatever the outcome of the hearing, it’s pretty clear that there is a significance divergence of views as to whether what occurred was within the sporting regulations. It’s quite proper for the teams to take the only step they can to resolve the issue.

            The identity of the team/s which protested is as irrelevant as the identity of the team alleged to have transgressed.

          • antifia (@antifia) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:09

            I think you are underestimating the effect of this test…. in any case, they did break the rules. I hope that the penalty is not open to discretion (why should it be, given that the infringiment does not involve degree? You either ran an in-season test or you didn’t) but is written in the body of the rule. However, I must say that I’ve never seen Ross Brawn being punished for anything before and it is not the first time that he interprets the rules … well…creatively.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:12

            It’s an observation, I think a valid one, about how the media is “not outraged” by such an obvious breach in regulations.

            The media deals in fact. To express outrage would be to to express an opinion. And when a media outlet expresses an opinion – particularly when they present it as fact – it loses credibility as a source of information.

            It’s not the media’s place to call on the FIA to take action. It never was, and it never will be.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2013, 11:52

            @Antifia, you mention that

            in any case, they did break the rules

            – how do you know that without having access to all facts and communication involved?

            Lets please leave establishing whether the rules were broken, and to what extent, to the regulating body, the FIA. Your reasoning here is the same as if you would sentence someone to life long prison based on reading about a murder case in the Newspapers (and from comments made by neighbours, ex-wifes and passers by on the internet)

          • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 3rd June 2013, 12:17

            @prisoner-monkeys “The media deals in fact”. That comment just made all your other comments worthless. The media deals in hype/propaganda/sales with a dash fact, you yourself knows this.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 12:39

            The media deals in hype/propaganda/sales with a dash fact, you yourself knows this.

            So why haven’t the media demanded that the FIA penalise Mercedes with immediate effect, the way Makana thinks they should? He’s made the case that they’re protecting Hamilton, and if it was just the British press who were refraining from making those calls, then perhaps I could believe it. But no-one in the media is demanding it, and they can’t all be protecting Hamilton.

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:20

        @prisoner-monkeys

        The data gathered would have been no use to Mercedes, since those compounds will not be used in 2013. And given that Pirelli revise their compounds several times while they are in development, Mercedes will get no advantage from it in 2014 because the tyres will not be the same.
        [...]
        Nobody gained anything from it except for Pirelli

        I’m not an expert on these things, but somehow it doesn’t seem credible to me that a team’s race drivers drove 1000 km with their 2013 car and yet they didn’t gain anything from it either for 2013 or 2014 just because the tyres aren’t going to be exactly the same in 2014.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 11:03

          @hotbottoms

          somehow it doesn’t seem credible to me that a team’s race drivers drove 1000 km with their 2013 car and yet they didn’t gain anything from it either for 2013 or 2014 just because the tyres aren’t going to be exactly the same in 2014

          Well, the 2013 tyres are nothing like the 2012 tyres. Which were nothing like the 2011 tyres. The teams and drivers have basically been sent back to square one in terms of their knowledge of the tyre performance this year, even though the cars have not changed that much from year to year.

          Pirelli won’t make minor adjustments to the 2014 tyres between now and the start of next season. They will substantially revise the tyres several times over the course of the year, just as they have done in previous years.

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 3rd June 2013, 11:47

            @prisoner-monkeys
            Even if the information they gathered from the tyres was useless, there are still lots of other areas to gain from while testing for 1000 km.

            Lets put it this way: why did Mercedes attend this kind of secret test if it didn’t give them any benefit? Even if the test was legal, it was always going to cause controversy and bad publicity.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd June 2013, 12:41

            Lets put it this way: why did Mercedes attend this kind of secret test if it didn’t give them any benefit?

            Because they recognised what Pirelli was trying to do in develop tyres on a current chassis instead of an out-of-date one, thought it was a good idea, and joined up.

        • Makana (@makana) said on 3rd June 2013, 18:47

          @funkyf1 Thank You. Objectively, I would set F1Fanatic apart though.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd June 2013, 8:51

      It would be easy like you picture it if both Pirelli and Mercedes (and even Ferrari?) would stand up and suddenly proclaim that they did in fact, knowingly, secretly and without consulting either the FIA nor other teams, nor any lawyers who have access to the full rules, an all agreements that are made about F1 etc. go on and test new bits, tyres for this year and shared the data amongst themselves because they knew that would help them in the championship, and for the next season @hipn0tic.

      But since no such proclamation is there, and its unlikely to ever be, the FIA has to investigate the facts before they can judge on things. That is called good process.

      Would they just hand out a penalty because there was uproar, its likely that both Pirelli and Mercedes would not only pull out of the sport, but also sue the FIA and most likely win that case, because they were not given proper opportunity to make their case.

      • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 3rd June 2013, 21:06

        because they were not given proper opportunity to make their case.

        I understand that, but Pirelli for example everytime they tried to defend this case they only make it uglier because they know they did wrong.
        Know, everytime they come and say something, nobody will take them serious. So it’s better to loose their services after the contract, and get them pay a huge fine.
        For this we can see that, Pirelli is after the big lights of the F1, instead of being just the tyre suplier.

        To Mercedes i really don’t know, i’m a Red Bull and a Vettel fan, but for me it cost me if for ex Nico lost his victory at Monaco

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 3rd June 2013, 22:27

        I think the FIA need more information from Pirelli as they were the ones who conducted the tests essentially. Only they know the full details of what testing was being conducted and so consequently what possible benefits could be gained from it but I wouldn’t hasten a decision so I agree with @prisoner-monkeys: we need more details to surface.

        However, I am incredibly suspicious over the reason why the test was conducted without apparently the full consent of the FIA and without the inivitaion of all the teams – why was it kept in the dark, surely they should have nothing to hide?

  14. antifia (@antifia) said on 3rd June 2013, 9:43

    The problem with Mercedes’ test is that it did give them an unfair and lasting advantage. Many people have been pointing out at how tyre degradation is spoiling the sport, but those who have been watching F1 for long will know that there is nothing new about tyre degradation (Jerez 86 and Silverstone 87 provide two very dramatic examples of the guy in 2nd catching the fellow in 1st by 2.5+ seconds per lap after performing a pitstop). The problem is not degradation, the problem is unpredictability. Pirelli seems to have 200 different compounds which they change at whim from race to race. Couple that with the fact that teams can’t test and things become really difficult in terms of car setup and race strategy. This is why the test was really underhanded. One could easily see its effects in Monaco – before that Mercedes was fast but they ate their tyres in the race (3 races in a row showing the same behaviour). This test became a crucial advantage for them. Without it, they’d probably struggled with the tyres till the end of the season. Now they became championship contenders – but that should not have come on the back of ignoring the rules.

    • Dizzy said on 3rd June 2013, 10:03

      (Jerez 86 and Silverstone 87 provide two very dramatic examples of the guy in 2nd catching the fellow in 1st by 2.5+ seconds per lap after performing a pitstop

      Difference is that in those cases the tyre wear wasn’t an artificial thing & that the pit stops & strategy were not forced on the drivers purely because of how all the tyres were designed.

      In both cases the car that pitted (Mansell both times) pitted purely because he felt he could gain an advantage from doing so & that strategy was a decision made by the driver rather than just because of the tyre wear.
      Originally he was on a no-stop strategy in both races like the race leader & it was a decision purely made by Mansell (Rather than how the tyres were made) which saw him make a late race stop for fresh tyres.

      The beauty of how things were then & the crucial difference when comparing tyres then to now is that teams/drivers had multiple options on how they ran there race because they had 4-5 tyre compounds available, None of which were specifically designed to wear.
      If a driver wanted to run the whole race non-stop on the hardest compound knowing they ‘may’ have to do some tyre management they had that option, However if a driver wanted to drive harder, Taking more life out the tyres he also had an option to run a softer compound knowing he’d have to make 1 or more pit stops.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 3rd June 2013, 13:35

      @antifia

      One could easily see its effects in Monaco

      Really ? Because what I saw in Monaco was a pair of Mercedes driving around doing lap times that were rarely faster, and in several parts of the race actually slower, than the laps being put in by guys in Williams, Torro Rosso and other midfield/tail end team cars. Lewis’s fastest lap was 1.556 seconds slower than Sebastian’s while Nico’s was 1.750 seconds slower. If Red Bull weren’t holding Sebastian and Mark back all race then I reckon we’d have seen Mercedes dropping back through the field as they had in previous races this season.

      What I saw in Monaco was exactly what I and most other people had predicted; Mercedes getting pole position due to their single lap speed and them keeping the lead in the race due to the usual lack of overtaking amongst the front runners and the general low degradation nature of the track in Monaco.

      Now they became championship contenders

      Mercedes were 4th in the WCC and 59 points off the leaders before Monaco, they’re still 4th and 55 points behind the leaders now – I’m not sure how this equates to them becoming championship contenders. Nico has moved 7 points closer to Sebastian but Lewis lost 6 points to him.

      If Mercedes had been able to go flat out for long periods of the race in Monaco without suffering any problems with their tires then you may have a point but they didn’t, they spent the entire race in tire conservation mode, were lucky that the Safety Car came out when they wanted to make their first stop and even luckier to get a free change of tires after the red flag as well as benefiting from a conservative strategy from Red Bull which meant their drivers spent the race being told to maintain a gap behind them instead of putting them under any serious pressure and as such I think trying to draw any conclusions about an improvement in performance from what we saw in Monaco is tenuous. Now if Mercedes are much faster and far easier on their tires in the next few races then that would be pretty strong evidence that they gained some advantage from the test but until then we’re just guessing and trying to draw conclusions from a very limited amount of information from a track that is not representative of a typical F1 track in terms of speed, tire degradation and overtaking opportunities.

      • antifia (@antifia) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:55

        If Red Bull weren’t holding Sebastian and Mark back all race then I reckon we’d have seen Mercedes dropping back through the field as they had in previous races this season

        You seem to be arguing that RedBull could have won that race if so they wished, but decided instead to hold back. I’ll go out on a limb and assume they didn’t do that.

        But regardless, strictrly speaking you are right – by taking a definite conclusion after one race I may have fallen pray to the post hoc, propter hoc fallacy. However, call me a conspiracy theorist but if they didn’t run that 1000km test expecting to improve their performance, why did they do it? Even stranger if you consider the risks involved.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:53

          You seem to be arguing that RedBull could have won that race if so they wished, but decided instead to hold back. I’ll go out on a limb and assume they didn’t do that.

          No, they had to hold back or risk ruining their tires and costing themselves an extra pit which would have cost them points, like all the drivers had to do, such is the delta running nature of these tires. SV felt he had to make that point by putiing in a super fast lap near the end, and was even told on the radio to ‘relax, we get the point’ (my wording). ie. he could have gone way faster and how silly he couldn’t for fear of losing places due to needing an extra pit. ie. how silly they are so limited by these tires (was SV’s point with his one hot lap near the end of the race).

          My personal answer to the question as to why Merc would do this test if they didn’t think they would gain an advantage is that in fact they DID think they would gain an advantage…as would all other teams gain an equal advantage by them helping Pirelli at a time of great need. I think Merc recognizes that somebody needed to do this test considering the problematic tires they are having to struggle with. And Merc probably also recognizes that it would be far better them or any other team that isn’t in the current top 3 because that would be much much more controversial. And using a bottom rung team would simply shade the data for Pirelli as those cars have far more problems and would make sussing out the data and nailing down the direction they need to go for the rest of the season harder to do.

          I think the very fact that there were risks involved shows how crucial Pirelli and Merc, and presumably the FIA, knew this test was for the betterment of F1 and the racing, while at the same time feeling that since they weren’t doing anything underhanded like seeing that Merc alone would benefit (as if Pirelli and Merc would think they could get away with this) then to them the risk was worth it.

          Personally I think the term ‘secretive’ is being taken in the wrong context. Sure on the face of it one could immediately jump to the conclusion that secretive means underhanded and that Merc is trying to gain an advantage, but seceretive to me can also mean, in this scenario, Pirelli was trying to minimize the controversy and simply had no time to dilly dally and get concensus because then the crucial test would likely have never taken place and then F1 would really be screwed in terms of the quality and safety (or lack thereof) of the racing for the rest of the season.

        • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:59

          @antifia

          You seem to be arguing that RedBull could have won that race if so they wished, but decided instead to hold back.

          That’s exactly what I’m arguing; Vettel could, and did, go much faster than the Mercedes drivers and had he been free to race I reckon he’d have been putting Nico under much more pressure throughout the race.
          It seemed pretty clear that Red Bull were quite happy to have their drivers hold position because they were ahead of their main rivals (Fernando and Kimi) and so would extend their championship lead, rather than having them risking their positions by trying to overtake the Mercedes’. This is something we’ve seen at other races and with other teams in the past – winning the race isn’t as important as beating your rivals, especially at Monaco where the risks are greater.

          However, call me a conspiracy theorist but if they didn’t run that 1000km test expecting to improve their performance, why did they do it?

          To give their drivers extra time in the car.
          In the hope that Pirelli would change the tires in a way that would be beneficial to them.
          To get the opportunity to test the reliability of their car.
          To reduce the risk of further delaminations at future races.

          I’m not claiming that Mercedes didn’t hope to get some improvement in performance from doing the test, I just think that their performance in Monaco is not evidence of such an improvement.

  15. Randy (@randy) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:12

    One thing keeps bugging me about this test, can anyone perhaps shed some more light on it?

    Given that each chassis have 8 engines per season and teams are so paranoid about their lifespan, how the hell does Mercedes plan on juicing 1000km extra and still make it to the end of the season on 8 units each? Have they even used the official allocated engines, do we have any info on that?

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