Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton conducted a three-day test for Pirelli ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, which Rosberg won. They have been called to an FIA Tribunal which will examine whether Mercedes broke the rules.
Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in Monaco, said: “Surely it would be I think a big advantage compared to everyone else if you’re the only one who does it. If everyone does it, it’s the same for everyone. But clearly that hasn’t been the case for all of the teams.”
Asked if he thought Mercedes had gained an advantage for this season, Vettel replied “or Ferrari”. Ferrari also conducted a two-day tyre test for Pirelli but did so using their 2011 car, leading the FIA to drop that part of their investigation.
“I think it’s difficult to judge but surely every lap matters,” Vettel added. “These days testing is very limited on the track.”
“We’ve got two times one-and-a-half hours on Friday and there’s not that much you can do so you have to really get into the rhythm for the weekend. So any sort of extra testing is very, very valuable.”
“It’s a fact that if you give a chance to the teams to do that every team will take it and be very happy to do it,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if we know what tyre it is or not, fact is it will help you in some way always, that’s why we do testing otherwise we would never do testing if we wouldn’t learn anything.”
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa also believed the test will have helped Mercedes:
“I think we don’t have tests. So whatever thing you can do to understand about the car is important. But is not part of the rules so we don’t have this possibility. But if you have, for sure it’s a help.”
However Jenson Button would not be drawn on questions over the test. “You’ve got to trust what they say,” he said, adding “it’s not something I can really comment on.”
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