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. 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?

  16. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 3rd June 2013, 10:53

    Racecar Engineering are reporting that Mercedes and Ferrari have been called to answer charges by the FIA’s disciplinary panel.

    In response to some of the points above regarding whether Mercedes did or didn’t gain an advantage; this really is totally irrelevant. The sporting regulations state that no current car can take part in testing. No caveat there about testing being allowed as long as no advantage is gained. It’s pretty black and white and there can’t really be any argument that, at least in the case of Mercedes, the sporting regulations have been breached.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:24

      I think that the history of F1 and the FIA has shown us that black and white is rarely black and white when it comes to the enforcement of the rules. So I wouldn’t be holding them to that. And I would think that if it was so black and white, there’d already be sanctions.

      I think one strong example of where they could create a shade of grey in the rule, and I suspect it will come down to this, is that it will be deemed the test was necessary in the name of safety. A 2013 car was necessarily needed because, imho, F1/FIA/Pirelli know they have one chance this year to tweak the tires to get away from 4 stop races and such blatant delta racing that fans and teams alike are turned off. (Pirelli has claimed the delamination issue is something they didn’t need a test to resolve).

      And if the test was primarily about 2014 tires then all the more reason the use of a 2013 car was necessary. It’s the closest thing they have right now to a 2014 car and Pirelli can argue that even a 2013 car is not what the new Pirelli’s are going to be built for but it’s the best they can do for now. And therefore the use of a 2013 car for this test is irrelevant to the bulk of the test with Merc in terms of any chance that they have affected the outcome of this year’s Championship with said test.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:58

        I disagree with you. I think what you’re referring to are the numerous instances where ambiguous areas in the technical regulations have been used to allow for inventive interpretations, to facilitate innovations which would otherwise be prevented. This situation is not like that – the rules are completely clear and unambiguous – it states two dates, between which absolutely no testing is allowed. There is no possibility to allow for testing based on that. Even the flimsy justification of safety grounds doesn’t hold water, since it would be entirely possible to try out prototype tyre constructions during normal Friday testing – as Pirelli have done on several occasions in the past.

        And again, developing 2014 tyres is irrelevant – the rules don’t make any allowances for testing current cars on future tyres. They say very clearly that this is not allowed. This was the case when Pirelli signed up to be the sole tyre supplier so I don’t see how they can really have a problem with it at this stage, no matter how clear and logical the need. The rules are the rules, and you can’t choose to simply ignore them because they are inconvenient. This situation was always going to arise, and it’s hardly to Pirelli’s credit that in the years leading up to this point they haven’t come up with a better solution than simply ignoring the rules. Perhaps they were counting on more support from the teams to get testing reinstated. Well if that’s the case then they really mis-read the situation in F1!

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 16:40

          No it’s far more than about technical regulations when it comes to the shades of grey enforcement of the rules in F1 and I think you know that. We have numerous times debated questionable moves by a driver on the track and whether or not a driver was properly punished or should have been punished at all. We have numerous times debated whether a driver got off light because that would help bring the Championship down to the last race of the season. Did a driver obey a blue flag quickly enough. Was that an intentional block or did the driver legitimately not see him and was legitimately apologetic. Was a team order used or not (when they were ‘illegal’ of course, which was always going to be shades of grey such is the variety of ways a team can use an order even when they’re illegal). I think you get my point. We all know that there are always contentious issues as to the consistancy of the enforcement of the rules well beyond just the technical aspects as you imply. F1 is famous for their inconsistancy in that regard.

          You are right that there are two dates between which in-season testing is allowed. However, somehow Pirelli had it in their contract that they could do an in-season test. I don’t think they put a gun to someone’s head to be allowed that test. I’m pretty sure F1/FIA would have had to agree to that before a contract was signed between Pirelli and F1 (shade of grey number 1 in your scenario) We have also heard that F1/FIA can intervene if it is in the name of safety, which in this case is hardly ‘flimsy’ as you opine when tires have been delaminating. (shade of grey number 2 in your scenario).

          Bottom line for me as it relates to your argument…if it was so black and white then surely Mercedes and Pirelli are not so stupid that they would think the risk would be worth it. Firstly, Pirelli would have nothing to gain if this was about helping Merc and would only be risking being released from F1 and probably being sued into bankruptcy. And surely you don’t actually believe Mercedes would think they could get away with this and get Pirelli in on the conspiracy?

          I predict there was enough need for this tire test, uniquely, this season, and there was enough provision in Pirelli’s contract, and enough motivation within F1 and FIA to improve the racing, that if anyone gets punished it will be in a token, slap on the wrist way.

          Pirelli were asked to make degrady tires etc etc, and Keith has written his opinion that nailing down the perfect degrady tires for every track and every condition for every car and driver was always going to be a very hard task. Pirelli have acted as F1 wished and took it a bit too far. F1 has some responsibility here in helping Pirelli wright the ship, imho, and to me Merc was the perfect choice of a team to use.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 16:43

            Sorry in the first line of my second paragraph that should have read ‘two dates between which in-season testing is NOT allowed’

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 3rd June 2013, 17:25

            SOrry, you’ve made a long post and I’m not going to address each point, but I think you’re muddying the waters here. Bottom line is that the rule we’re talking about is absolutely clear and unambiguous, and has to be taken as such. Regardless any such clause in the Pirelli contract, I don’t see how a commercial agreement with a supplier can take precedence over the sporting regulations, with which all teams are obligated to adhere. There is no part of the rule which says “unless the tyre supplier has a contract which allows testing.” So in order to assist Pirelli (let’s put aside any ideas about the validity or motivation for the testing here – it’s all beside the point. The main question – the ONLY question – is whether it was possible within the rules for a team to run a current specification car in a test session. And there appears to be no such clause within the rules which would allow that.

            The FIA have even made a statement to that effect – that in order to allow such a test, certain requirements would need to be met – the most important one being unanimous agreement from all teams. Which is again enshrined within the rules. No matter the circumstances, the rules must be adhered to. You can’t simply make up arbitrary exceptions which aren’t actually expressed anywhere within the rules themselves, otherwise the rules cease to have any meaning whatsoever.

            The main problem is that it appears almost impossible that this test went ahead without the knowledge of the FIA. In which case they are a little bit hamstrung in terms of what they could possibly do. They need a tyre supplier for next year, and at this point it appears there’s only one real viable answer – Pirelli. But Pirelli appear to have breached their own contract and through arranging a tyre test potentially brought the entire sport into disrepute. So on the one hand, you have to be able to deal with a situation like this one in a satisfactory manner, but on the other hand, there appears to be no way now to solve this issue in a way which is going to satisfy all concerned parties. And the FIA are at risk of losing any shred of credibility they may have left at this point.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 19:44

            Well I think basically you are agreeing with me that there are shades of grey. On the one hand you continue to explain that there is a black and white rule, and yet you’ve also acknowledged that the test likely went ahead with the FIA’s knowledge. Hence my claim that there are indeed shades of grey. There MUST have been extenuating circumstances for said test to have gone ahead. FIA MUST have thought it necessary. This is not a test Mercedes decided to do all on their own because they decided they would try to get away with cheating their way to some wins or the WDC. Even if they had that kind of nerve, they needed tires to do the test. We now know most of the tires were for 2014, so how would that be worth them risking everything this year, or even removal from F1 and hundreds of millions of dollars in fines?

            I agree that you can’t just make up arbitrary exceptions to rules. I just don’t agree that there was anything arbitrary about this situation. Safety has been one exception and I’m sure that’s a big card that Pirelli will play. I think these tires are dangerous and are making for terrible racing. And I think that is the general concensus amongst teams and fans alike.

            I add up the following ingredients to get to shades of grey. Pirelli did not just sneak into their own contract that they could use a team to test their tires. FIA agreed to that. Pirelli have stated that they did email teams last year to be on the ready to help them do a test. Some didn’t comply. Some did. This year’s tires have been uniquely problematic, but in general are what F1 themselves have asked them to do, hence should play a role in helping rectify too degrady, too delaminaty tires. They needed to act fast. They needed to not use a top-3 team imho. And again, it’s not about Merc deciding to break a black and white rule. It’s about them agreeing to go along with Pirelli’s contracted right to do a test, and likely feeling that this test was crucial for all teams in order to get everyone better tires. If the FIA allowed this in Pirelli’s contract, surely they didn’t expect Pirelli to create their own team to do the test because there is a rule that no F1 teams can test between such and such dates. Shades of grey. For the betterment of F1 and the racing. I don’t think the FIA is too worried about losing any shred of credibility and in fact I predict they will try to come out as one’s who have tried to ensure safety for the drivers and a good show for the fans.

            I understand the FIA’s concern that the other teams weren’t consulted well enough, weren’t given a fair enough chance, and that a 2013 car was used. I predict Pirelli will fairly easily be able to explain that a consulting process would have taken too long and would have likely meant no concensus and no necessary test, and they did email the teams last year to be ready for this. As to the use of the 2013 car, I think that is again no big deal because mostly this was a test for 2014 and the cars will be completely different, and to use an even older car would not help Pirelli resolve today’s tire issues.

            Yes it’s not black and white. Yes it’s not pretty. But underhanded? Cheaty? I just don’t buy that. Why? Because I don’t think Pirelli or Merc would consider the risk anywhere near worth it. I don’t think one 3-day test of no data sharing turns a team into Championship contenders. If it did, F1 would be way too easy and the teams would not have agreed to such limited testing. They’d at least have all gotten together and agreed to one 3-day test each per in-season.

            How would your black and white thinking fair if a driver was killed because he crashed due to a delaminating tire? Would you still have no tolerance for extenuating circumstances? Especially ones that were borne of F1’s own requests for this type of racing? This type of tire? Would you still insist they not test for better tires in-season? Of course, the teams would unanimously agree quite quickly as to how to achieve better tires if someone died. Why wait for that to happen? Because of a black and white rule that couldn’t have predicted these tires?

  17. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 3rd June 2013, 11:58

    So is that video the reason the W02 wasn’t available for the Barcelona test then?

  18. dkpioe said on 3rd June 2013, 13:44

    Susie Wolf will get a drive in F1 i believe, but not from her abilities, but because of Mr. Toto Wolff, who is becoming a strong political presence in the f1 paddock. It will be good to have a female driver nonetheless and will pave the way for others, and her presence will be no worse then having pay drivers in f1 – which she essentially will be, but many will bag her at evey opportunity because they are sexist.
    Toto Wolf will soon assume Ross Brawn’s position as the boss of Mercedes F1. I predict Brawn could be pushed out as early as the end of this year, as the Pirelli testing Mercedes did will surely get punished, and it was surely the brainchild of Ross Brawn. It is the perfect setup for a change in hierachy which seems inevitable. I wouldnt be surprised if Wolf pulled one over Brawn by allowing Brawn to do this recent testing – Mercedes have nothing to lose anyway – 4th place is just another defeat so it was worth the gamble of doing illegal testing.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 3rd June 2013, 13:47

      Ross Brawn has always been the master of this kind of brinksmanship. I find it difficult to believe that he’d give the nod for something like this to go ahead if he wasn’t confident that they had an absolutely watertight justification for doing it, which would absolve them of any responsibility.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 17:21

        @mazdachris I’m a bit confused then. You say Ross Brawn wouldn’t give the nod to the test without watertight justification that would absolve them of any responsibility, yet at the top of this page you are saying Merc clearly broke a rule…black and white. If it is as clear as you say, then surely you don’t think RB could possibly have had any reason to think Merc would be absolved of responsibility.

        @dkpioe I highly doubt the test was the brainchild of Ross Brawn since he would have needed tires for said test, and therefore Pirelli at a minimum would be a very big co-conspirator if this was all RB’s idea. I also highly doubt, if this was all so underhanded, that Merc would look at their 4th place standing and consider an illegal test as ‘nothing to lose anyway’. They would be sued for hundreds of millions of dollars, be kicked out for the rest of the season, and have their integrity and reputation jeopardized globally if in fact they were trying to get away with an illegal in-season test.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 3rd June 2013, 17:39

          I’m simply saying that it would be totally out of character for RB to make a decision when it was to blatantly clear that they would be in trouble for it. Now, you can infer from that what you wish – perhaps that RB wasn’t the one that made the call. Perhaps that he was told something that wasn’t true. Perhaps that there were certain deals made behind closed doors. Who knows. I certainly don’t. What I do know is that this would be totally out of character for Brawn to make such an enormous miscalculation, and so I can’t help but feel there is far more to this story than meets the eye. And this relates to what I say above, that the FIA have either put themselves, or have been put into, an impossible situation where there seems very little chance of them coming away from this with their integrity in tact.

          That Mercedes have breached article 22 seems impossible to argue against. The reasons why, who took the decision to do it, to what end, and who knew about it, are all matters of complete speculation at this point. We have a statement from the FIA which appears to say that Mercedes and Pirelli did not have dispensation to carry out the test (or at the least, that the requirements as laid out by the FIA were not met – as backed up by several teams who confirm they weren’t even consulted on the matter) which seems to leave two possibilities – either that Mercedes and Pirelli were mistaken and believed they were acting in good faith, or that they deliberately chose to break the rules. My point being that if it’s the latter case, then I can’t imagine Ross Brawn taking such a decision without something up his sleeve to be able to get out of it. Though regardless, the whole thing absolutely stinks, and will continue to stink no matter what happens from this point onwards. This is an absolutely incredible situation, and one which as far as I know is completely without precedent in F1.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 19:59

            For the most part I agree with what you have said here. I just think that it is highly unlikely that any team principal would think they could get away with this and deliberately break the rules this way. Which is why I’m convinced Merc and Pirelli must feel they have enough legs to stand on here including quasi permission from FIA even if they didn’t quite follow every protocol to said test. I still say it should be fairly easy for Pirelli to argue the urgency, and the need not to dilly dally with deciding how to do the test and with whom. That would have meant too much delay. And they were acting with what they thought were enough legal legs to stand on. The emails to the teams last year because of the clause in their contract for a team to work with them. The delaminations. The lack of testing in general.

            I totally agree with you that the whole thing stinks and may be completely without precedence, but imho F1 wanted these tires so they need to own up to helping rectify the situation. Come to think of it, perhaps Pirelli’s frustration is that F1 didn’t help more ahead of this need for secrecy. Perhaps F1 should have designated a team and told the other teams this is how it has to be because it is an emergency situation. I don’t know. I do know that I personally never wanted gadgety tire and DRS racing to begin with, so I’m kind of glad it has bitten them in the butt.

    • RogerA said on 3rd June 2013, 16:15

      I don’t think Susie Wolff is really as bad as some people say.

      Granted she didn’t do much in DTM but then consider that she was always in much older equipment driving for a team thats never really done a great deal & that many open wheel guys who went over to DTM struggled including several Ex-F1 race winners.

      Looking at her open wheel career she was quite competent in Formula Renault scoring podiums & finishing 5th in points in 2004 & did enough to be one of the BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award contenders eventually winning the BRDC Rising Star award.

      You never know exactly how good or not any driver is going to be until you give them a run in the car. I see no reason why she should not be given an opportunity to test the car to see exactly how good (Or not) she is.

      I remember back in 2006 when Katherine Legge tested a Minardi, Many of the same arguments as to why it should not happen were been given. However when she got in the car & did some laps she turned out to be very fast by all accounts.
      http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/103841/katherine-legge-impressively-quick-at-vallelunga/

  19. josephrobert (@josephrobert) said on 3rd June 2013, 16:10

    Tired of tyres?

    Shorter pitlane’s and harder tyres.

    Let them bring two types of tyres for a weekend, hards and wets. Deal with it.

    Here’s another idea, make the pitlane’s inside the track, and shorter then the track. If a car does a drive though let them only lose 1 or 2 seconds to a flying lap so that if they do pit they drop back only 5 to 6 seconds. That way drivers will be able to push the tyres and long tyre saving stints of slower lap times will be less profitable.

  20. Cranberry said on 3rd June 2013, 20:17

    @prisonermonkeys
    Saying that the media deals in facts and only facts is a naive and uninformed statement. The media wants to sell their product, and they do that by appealing to the viewer’s emotions. The outrage that followed “Overtakegate” was huge, and then the case was only about one team’s internal hierarchy and challenges faced by their management.
    The media follows whatever path brings them the most return on their investment and the journalists use supporting facts to justify their arguments and opinions while omitting facts that may prove otherwise, these facts may later be introduced, however, as shocking new discoveries to stir things up again.

    I just hope that the FIA and whoever handles this issue does use facts and facts only to come to a fair judgement.

    This secret testing is much bigger than what happened between VET and WEB, it breaks the ruleset of the sport and highlights conflicts between the regulation and agreements made accodring to my understanding.
    The sporting regulations prohibits testing in-season, and prohibits testing with a current-gen car but Pirelli has a deal with the FIA that they may request teams to test for them during the season for a 1000km distance.

    Now, Mercedes may not have broken the in-season testing rule if they indeed have a writted permit from the FIA to conduct the test, but they may have broken the rule that restrics what type of car they can use unless the same permission slip allows them to use a 2013 spec car in writing.
    Interesting times, all in all…I’ll go get my tinfoil hat.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 3rd June 2013, 21:39

      I won’t try to speak for prisoner-monkeys as he is highly capable of speaking for himself, and he sure doesn’t come across as naive and uninformed, but I think the point is that at some point media has to have facts to back up their claims. Of course they can choose their wording to play on emotions, to sell their product, etc etc, but ultimately they wouldn’t last long nor be trusted if they didn’t back up their words with facts. If they just invent stuff. We all know that many media use compelling headlines to grab the readers’ attention. It is often in the body of the work that one can see that factually there was less alarm to the headline once all the facts have been pointed out. But I also don’t think they can credibly withhold facts to support their case only to then reveal the facts as ‘shocking new discoveries’ if the facts they are withholding are already out there in other media. They might shade the facts a little if they don’t assist their own political agenda, but again I don’t think they would be taken very seriously for very long if they constantly omitted facts that have already become general knowledge. Or they would be taken seriously but only by those who agree with their political spin and their style of reporting.

      • Cranberry said on 4th June 2013, 15:15

        I didn’t mean the man was naive, but his statement was…and my intention was not to attack him, his statement just really rubbed me the wrong way and one should never trust what they read in the media. Especially when the media circulates around a sport as as void of morals and integrity as Formula 1 is.

        I don’t know what happened in my last paragraph, but it got completely lost in translation. What I meant to say there was that Mercedes has clearly broken both rules but if they have a written approval from the FIA on all accounts then they may not be punishable.

        Now that I have my tinfoil hat on, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if FIA did indeed grant them permission to test 1000km for Pirelli with their 2013 car.

        Who knows… With the whole engine change coming up and Ecclestone having his trial and Mercedes the option to pull out of F1 on grounds of corruption…they may have leveraged the whole thing in their favor to close the gap on the leaders.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th June 2013, 16:36

          Fair enough. And I’m not going so far as to say I think there was any kind of conspiracy, because I just don’t believe that Pirelli shared data with Merc, nor that Pirelli or Merc would think for a second that they could get away with some kind of collusion. Pirelli would have nothing to gain if it was only about helping Merc and the risk would be huge. I think, and of course it’s just my opinion, that F1/FIA knew the tires were a problem, knew that Pirelli had one chance to get them right, and knew that Mercedes was the best option to use being a non-top-3 and non-bottom-3 team. Sure it could have been handled in a better way on the face of it, in terms of more openness and fairness, but I think that kind of democracy in this situation would have meant a quagmire or meetings and non-concensus and teams would have ended up with problematic tires and delta racing for the rest of the season and nobody is liking it.

          So for me I will be surprised if anybody gets penalized in any kind of a severe way, because the goal is to improve the tires and the racing. If anybody should be punished the most it should be Pirelli for not ensuring proper tires from the outset eg. had they stayed with last year’s tires there wouldn’t be an issue, but since they have been basically following the mandate set out by F1, they can hardly be severely punished, imho.

          In terms of media and untrustworthiness…I hear you, but I’d like to think that ultimately they have to be pretty much on the straight and narrow or the market will decide they aren’t the go-to source and will go elsewhere.

          I’ll share an interesting example going on in Toronto. There is a newspaper called the Toronto Star that has been going after the mayor Rob Ford since before he even got elected because he is a conservative who’s main mandate is to stop the abuse by government of the taxpayers money. That makes him a Conservative mayor and the Toronto Star has gone to great lengths from day one to dig up any dirt they can on him. The latest story, and you may have even heard about this wherever you are, is that the two Toronto Star reporters that have been the most aggressive all along, now claim they have seen a smart phone video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. It’s been weeks now and so far they have not produced said video…nobody has seen it but these two reporters. I think there should be some sort of law against this type of shoddy journalism. I no longer buy the Toronto Star.

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