Mercedes test hearing set for June 20th

2013 F1 season

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Cataunya, Barcelona, 2013Mercedes will learn their fate in the FIA’s International Tribunal hearing on June 20th.

The Tribunal will examine whether Mercedes broke the rules by conducting a three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya for Pirelli following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Red Bull and Ferrari protested Mercedes when news of the test broke during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

The FIA issued the following statement: “On 5th June 2013, further to protests lodged during the 2013 Monaco GP by Red Bull Racing and Ferrari Scuderia Team against cars numbers nine and ten (Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team) for having conducted with Pirelli a three day tyre testing using a 2013 car on 15th, 16th and 17th May in Barcelona, the President of the FIA, acting as the FIA Prosecuting Body, sent to the President of the International Tribunal a notification of charges against Pirelli and a notification of charges against Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.

“On 5th June 2013, Pirelli and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team have been convened by the President of the International Tribunal to appear before a judging panel of the International Tribunal.”

The hearing will begin at 9:30am.

Mercedes and Ferrari Pirelli tyre test row


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95 comments on Mercedes test hearing set for June 20th

  1. bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 10th June 2013, 16:59

    I cannot in anyway see how this can be deemed legal under the regs, but at the same time Ross is no fool, as has been proved many times in the past. :)
    Should be a very interesting hearing.

  2. Ivano (@) said on 10th June 2013, 17:04

    The FIA won’t ban Merc on the eve of the British and German GP. But a fine and points deductions is still very likely.

    • schooner (@schooner) said on 10th June 2013, 17:27

      Along with Ross Brawn’s head, maybe?

      • Ivano (@) said on 10th June 2013, 17:30

        Very likely too, and such a shame, as then clearly it seems too obvious it was Merc that pushed him to say it was his idea…

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 11th June 2013, 13:38

        It does seem from past experience that the FIA are happy to let a team get away without severe penalty as long as someone senior falls on their sword.

        Consider Liegate, for instance, where Dave Ryan was forced out of his job but McLaren got no penalty, even though Martin Whitmarsh and other senior team members actively participated in the deception as well.

        If Ross is shuffled out of his position (conveniently aligning with the business aims of Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda), along with a confession that it was all his fault (honest), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mercedes get away without further penalty.

  3. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 10th June 2013, 17:05

    Interesting that it specifically mentions charges against Pirelli as well as Mercedes. Pirelli, not being a ‘competitor’, aren’t bound by Article 22 of the sporting code, so it’ll be interesting to know exactly what they’re being charged with.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 17:34

      I suppose everything surrounding this test and the tribunal does not relate strictly to Article 22 then. After all, it was Pirelli’s test, and even though they are not a ‘competitor’ obviously their hand in this is crucial. Obviously their provision in their contract that says they can test, and the fact that the FIA knew they had that provision in their contract, which would automatically mean they would need a team to test with, causes extenuating circumstances to need to be examined.

      The ‘charges’ does not mean anyone is going to be found guilty of anything. For all we know the tribunal just wants to be satisfied that data wasn’t shared with Mercedes and there was sound reason to use the 2013 car and drivers.

      This is all further to protests by Red Bull and Ferrari, and Ferrari did a ‘secret’ test too, and Red Bull as it turns out were asked and declined unlike what they made it sound like last week. I suspect their protests have only so much weight and this is more about a clarification of what went on. Mercedes just seems too sure that they haven’t done anything wrong, nor do I believe that have a lacking of integrity nor would breach a rule if it was as clear as RBR et al has tried to make it sound. We now know the likes of Red Bull are choosing their wording selectively to try to make a mountain out of what I suspect will be a molehill.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 11th June 2013, 10:58

        @robbie

        Obviously their provision in their contract that says they can test, and the fact that the FIA knew they had that provision in their contract, which would automatically mean they would need a team to test with

        And they can. Case in point: their Ferrari test. Any team is allowed to test their two year old car as much as they want. The problem is that Mercedes decided to use their 2013 chassis which, in my opinion, was clearly against the regulations.

        @mazdachris
        As far as I know Pirelli are not being charged with anything. I think they have been convened to appear before the tribunal just to present their side of the story.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 12:39

          @maroonjack The FIA statement specifically mentions Pirelli answering charges against them.

          Don’t forget the International Tribunal is effectively a legal entity, so may well be entitled to consider things like contract law, and whether Pirelli has breached the terms of its agreement. Not to mention whether they have brought the sport into disrepute. Not that they would necessarily be found to be guilty of these charges, but it seems clear that there are charges for them to answer.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 13:11

          @maroonjack

          Any team is allowed to test their two year old car as much as they want. The problem is that Mercedes decided to use their 2013 chassis which, in my opinion, was clearly against the regulations.

          Yet nobody tests their 2 year old car because that is a waste of money, as evidenced by the remarks regarding Pirelli’s test with Ferrari in April being of far less value than the Mercedes test. And it remains to be seen if ‘Mercedes decided to use their 2013 chassis.’ I think Pirelli will make a strong case that anything but a 2013 car would have been useless and this being an extraordinary test that Pirelli went to the FIA about, and the FIA agreeing to said test, will show that there was permission imho. I just don’t think we have all the details as to this ‘clear’ breach of the rules. If it was that clear, Brawn would not have considered this test as he has obviously seemed quite relaxed and confident that he did nothing wrong. There has to be a reason for that.

          As far as I know Pirelli are not being charged with anything. I think they have been convened to appear before the tribunal just to present their side of the story.

          I think FIA, Pirelli, and Mercedes have all been convened to present their side of the story. That’s what the tribunal is. I don’t think this is a normal court of law unless I’m mistaken. It’s a tribunal. And I don’t get how you can even go there to suggest somehow Pirelli is the lesser player in this by suggesting they aren’t charged with anything. Not only does it explain in the article above that Pirelli are charged to answer questions at the tribunal along with Mercedes, it was Pirelli’s test and they are counting on their contract clause that allows them to test as one of their main arguments, AND if in fact this was all Mercedes…all just them trying to get away with something illegal…insisting on their 2013 car being used so they can make some underhanded gains on the competition, at a minimum Pirelli is then guilty of supplying them with tires which is just as conspiratorial and to me just as big a crime as Mercedes alleged breach.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 13:20

            @robbie
            Just a point for you to consider – even if the FIA did agree to a test involving a 2013 car, even if Mercedes and Pirelli have a signed letter from Jean Todt himself saying this was all absolutely fine, this permission could still be disputed. The FIA doesn’t simply have the right to allow a team to break the sporting rules. The FIA are the governing body, and it’s their responsibility to enforce the sporting code, but they must still operate within the restrictions of that code. No matter how strong the justification, they simply don’t have the authority to allow for exceptions without the unanimous support of all of the competitors.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 10th June 2013, 18:22

      I have to agree that RBR’s recent comments about how they were scandalized by Pirelli’s indecent offer ring a strange note. At the very least it makes their screeching about how the test was “secret” seem a bit less compelling since they obviously knew that Pirelli would just keep going down the paddock until they found someone to do the test. It’s not like Pirelli was not complaining all the time about how they didn’t have test opportunities. Presumably, many teams knew that this test was being organized, by someone, and would happen, sooner or later. Obviously, not the FIA. Because if the FIA got wind of this quite open discussion, and if it was so far beyond the pale as people now say, then they would have intervented to shut it down, right?

      • kpcart said on 10th June 2013, 18:44

        No, RBR refused because they knew using a 2013 car would result in punishment – they rightfully assumed other teams would also refuse, the mercedes test was secret, as no one in the f1 world outside of pirelli and mercedes knew about it until the next race. whether it is secret or not is irrelevant but, what is relevant is that the test was illegal, and making it secret shows that mercedes knew it was illegal and did everything they could to not be found out.

        • DaveW (@dmw) said on 10th June 2013, 19:02

          Who said they had to use a 2013 car? Who said that Pirelli demanded it? Furthermore, apparently, even using a “2011” car was not necessarily kosher until that “secret” test was disclosed and investigated. So this business that they drew a line at the current car issue is only speculation called into question but later events. Additionally, the propostion that keeping a test secret proves that it is “illegal” is falsified by the “legality” of the secret Ferrari test. The fact that Pirelli offered them the test and that they kept mum but still acted “surprised” when it happened remains the 13th chiming of the clock. What remains relevant is whether the test was permitted by whatever commercial term among the involved parties takes precedence. But the idea that Pirelli and Mercedes hatched a private conspiracy to violate willfully various obligations for collective gain remains a very curious theory.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 14:31

        @mazdachris

        @robbie
        Just a point for you to consider – even if the FIA did agree to a test involving a 2013 car, even if Mercedes and Pirelli have a signed letter from Jean Todt himself saying this was all absolutely fine, this permission could still be disputed. The FIA doesn’t simply have the right to allow a team to break the sporting rules. The FIA are the governing body, and it’s their responsibility to enforce the sporting code, but they must still operate within the restrictions of that code. No matter how strong the justification, they simply don’t have the authority to allow for exceptions without the unanimous support of all of the competitors.

        Sorry man, but I don’t buy that for a second. F1 is FIA’s bat and ball, and they can and will and have shown in the past to enforce any of the rules as they see fit. Usually of course they do follow the letter of the law or else they would universally be seen as a joke, but let’s face it, on many occasions they HAVE been seen to be a joke and their own unique entity that has nothing to do with a proper real court of law nor has usually required the unanimous support of all the competitors.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 14:41

          I’m not asking you to buy it. That’s the fact of the matter. Constructors sign up to compete under the terms of the sporting code. The sporting code is agreed between the governing body (FIA) and the competitors (teams). Once the season starts, these sporting regulations are applicable to everyone mentioned within the rules and the Appendices. There is nothing within this set of regulations which says that any party is allowed to make exceptions, including the FIA.

          You point out that in the past these have been enforced, and punishments handed out, under dubious justifications. Well indeed. This was tested in court by Flavio Briatore, who mounted a legal challenge to a punishment which was brought against him by the FIA. He won the case, and the FIA were looking very silly. As a result, the FIA set up the International Tribunal, which is a very different entity to the governing body; they are charged with legal interpretations of the sporting and technical regulations, which means that any decision they make should stand up in a court of law. This will mean that the exact legal interpretation of every single document and agreement relating to the case will be taken into consideration. This will include all of the agreements which set out how these rules may or may not be modified or bypassed during the season. This means that unless the FIA have a legally binding agreement with the competitors (their participation does, after all, form effectively a legally binding contract) which explicitly states that the FIA can give dispensation to any competitor to disregard the rules at any time, then they simply can’t do that. Unless that agreement is in place, then they don’t have the power to allow Mercedes to test. It has to be able to stand up in court, otherwise any permission, implied or explicitly stated, is literally worthless.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 15:36

            @mazdachris
            I’m not as convinced as you that everything the FIA does now has to stand up in a proper official court of law. Is it not the FIA that are the ones who decide to begin with what issues go to a tribunal and what do not? If they want, they can make their own rulings based on their own interpretation of their own rules, as usual, without involving a tribunal. I’ll go so far as to suggest that the FIA themselves feel they have legal grounds to stand on with the necessity of this test and therefore are unafraid of the results of the tribunal, and want everything cleared up publicly due to two teams protests and general questions surrounding the test from the public and the media. I would suggest that the FIA, if this was all so shaky, would not have sent it to a tribunal.

            This means that unless the FIA have a legally binding agreement with the competitors (their participation does, after all, form effectively a legally binding contract) which explicitly states that the FIA can give dispensation to any competitor to disregard the rules at any time, then they simply can’t do that. Unless that agreement is in place, then they don’t have the power to allow Mercedes to test. It has to be able to stand up in court, otherwise any permission, implied or explicitly stated, is literally worthless.

            I think you are overstating it for effect, to suggest that the FIA would need binding agreements that give them the power to allow any competitor to disregard the rules at any time. I just don’t believe that FIA/F1 are no longer their own entity and that everything they do must stand up in a normal court of law. At what point then will one driver move another off the track and be charged with assault in a normal court of law?

            This is not about the FIA allowing anybody to do anything they want. This is about the FIA allowing Pirelli a clause to test, allowing said test, and therefore that requiring a team to test with, and that will have been deemed as essential due to the shoddy nature of the F1 mandated tires that unfortunately have not been up to snuff this year. It’s not about a free-for-all of breaching rules and anarchy. It’s about the betterment of F1 for the rest of the season for all the teams based on a clause in Pirelli’s contract that as far as we know other suppliers and the teams do not have and therefore would not even dream of ‘disregarding the rules at any time’.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 15:42

            @robbie
            A team’s participation in F1 is bound by contracts which are just as legally binding as any other contracts. If any party feels that the contract is not being upheld in good faith, or that they’re being unfairly treated, then they have every right to legally dispute the actions of another party.

            To put it basically, if a team feels that what the FIA is doing/not doing, is in breach of the contract, then they are legally entitled to take legal action against the FIA.

            Hence the whole point of establishing this international tribunal. It will look at the legal requirements of all those involved, and decide whether or not anyone did anything wrong. This will mean that unless contractually, there is an exception made for justifications such as the need to improve the show, etc etc, these justification will absolutely not stand up. Your point about mandated tyres is irrelevant. Your point about whether or not it would be reasonable to improve the show by changing the tyres is irrelevant. The only question of any relevance is whether all parties have acted in accordance with the various contracts to which they are bound.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 16:11

            Has any team ever taken the FIA to normal official legal court? Does not the FIA itself decide what goes to a tribunal? Does Hemberey and Brawn not sound like they are innocent of any wrongdoing? If it was as clearcut as you say then I don’t think a tribunal would have been convened, and I fully expect nothing less than expulsion of Mercedes from F1, and massive fines for Pirelli since they can’t realistically be kicked out without it killing the F1 season, and I somehow do not get the vibe that this is about all of that.

            I fully expect that the circumstances and the motives of the parties involved will be heard before a judgement comes down, so I reject your notion that my ‘irrelevancies’ won’t be heard. Otherwise there would be no need for a hearing. It’s now public knowledge that Mercedes helped Pirelli do a tire test. Shouldn’t they be gone from F1 by now? If all other considerations are irrelevant, as I say why the tribunal and why are Mercedes still in F1? Or at a minimum why didn’t they race in Canada under suspended banning from F1 until said tribunal is over and judgement deemed?

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 16:27

            @robbie
            Yes, when Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds were handed a lifetime ban from motorsport by the FIA, they took the FIA to court in France and had the ban overturned. They were also awarded thousands of Euros in compensation. This is literally the reason why the FIA has established the International Trubunal. As I have said several times already.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 16:33

            @robbie
            Also, can you please stop putting words in my mouth. You may have decided the outcome of the tribunal but I certainly haven’t. I never once said it was clear cut. In fact, I’ve been at some pains to point out that this case is anything but – hence the point of it being put before the tribunal. If it was clear cut, one way or the other, it would have been decided by now. I’m just trying to point out to you that this is purely a case of whether or not people have done things which they weren’t allowed to do, and not a point of principle about whether or not the ban on testing is a good idea.

            Honestly, I don’t see how many times I can reiterate the same points. If you want to ignore what I’m saying then fine. Either give me a reason for disagreeing or stop discussing it. Just repeating yourself over and over is not a debate.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 19:48

            @mazdachris I believe Briatore and Symonds sued because they themselves felt FIA didn’t have it within their jurisdiction to penalize them as heavily as they did. That’s not the same as a team suing FIA which is what I asked. Nor did anyone believe, when FB tried to make it sound like he had been exonerated from any wrongdoing, that indeed that was the case. Just that he had been penalized beyond what the FIA had in it’s scope to do.

            My apologies for any offence but I don’t see how I am repeating myself any moreso than you are, and what you have repeatedly said is that Mercedes clearly breached the in-season testing ban rule, and my point has been it can’t be that clearcut or Mercedes simply wouldn’t have agreed to it. ie. they had to have felt they had permission and a strong reason for that would be Pirelli’s clause that they can test which would require a team.

            One thing I know we can agree on is that it has become a very convoluted issue and I am just as guilty as anyone if not the most guilty of worrying it to death, and it will all come out in the wash.

  4. Ryan Fairweather said on 10th June 2013, 17:12

    Although spy gate was completely different I can see similar punishments being dished out. Massive fine to Mercedes + Suspended Ban if it happens again + removal of all WCC points.

    As for Pirelli they’re position within the sport may be untenable and can see another tyre manufacturer appearing next year. They may also get a fine but I cant see them sticking around with all the flak they are taking.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 10th June 2013, 18:39

      Pirelli will get a fine from whom? The FIA is not a government. Pirelli have a contract, which defines material breach, and which specifies relevant recourse to the parties, including recission and liquidated damages, etc. The FIA can’t send constables down to Pirelli to put a lien on their trucks or something. Pirelli can just walk away, for specified contractual cost X, if that cost is less than dealing with an FIA “fine” or just the annoyance of the regular volleys of brickbats from the FIA, the teams, Ecclestone, and (most grievously) numerous esteemed F1Fanatic commenters. That might “serve them right” to be saddled with a big break-fee or get pushed out of the sport. But no amount of damages or penalties will put tires on cars in Silverstone if Pirelli says, we’re sick of this nonsense, we’re off to to rallies. Unless Pirelli is going to be willing to give up the IP, the tooling, and some staff for their successor, bringing in some other manufacturer to do some hurry up tires will be a disaster. I don’t see why Pirelli would be in a mood to lift a finger for anyone in F1 if that happened. So I hope that, with respect to Pirelli, that the FIA handles things, so to speak, judiciously.

      As for Mercedes, given the look on Brawn’s face in interviews last weekend, and his preemptive mea culpas, I think they are going to feel some pain. I predict a middling fine and exclusion from a some Friday practices.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th June 2013, 22:05

      I love the way so many people have decided that Mercedes are guilty and have moved on to sentencing. Especially when the FIA under Max Mosley did just that, and people demanded an independent and impartial process like the International Tribunal to resolve these issues fairly.

  5. Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 17:17

    Going to try to resist endless diatribes on this topic, but I do find it quite interesting that within the most recent round-up there are quotes from Marko saying that RBR was asked by Pirelli to test, but declined. He claims it was on the grounds that that would be a clear breach of the rules, and points out that as the leading team that would appear too controversial. Something I have said all along.

    So a few things from this…Marko acknowledges that it was Pirelli doing the asking ie. Mercedes did not instigate this test nor try to. Pirelli was the one asking, so it was not a Mercedes test. Second…if Pirelli was so clearly asking RBR to breach the rules then RBR should have reported them immediately for attempted race fixing, etc etc…any number of charges. Third…imho if this was a CLEAR breach, then Mercedes would not have risked it, not have entertained the idea for one second, yet by all accounts the air about their garage in Canada and about NR and Ross Brawn was one that would indicate they are innocent of having breached a rule and are confident that will come out in the tribunal. Fourth…RBR was the most vocal for change and the most vocal about advantages Mercedes would have gained and one of their beefs was that everybody should have been asked and everybody should have been there…yet they were asked, so Horner’s remarks of last week have become even more disingenuous. Fifth…from Marko’s remarks he cannot pinpoint what the advantage Mercedes allegedly would have gained from the tire test would be, other than the usual vague response anyone has given…car time equals learning about the car. I refute that in that they weren’t compiling data for themselves, nor trying new parts etc etc, so the ‘gain’ would be so minimal it seems like simply a default argument to try to make it sound way more horrific than it actually is. And again, I’m confident that will come out in the tribunal.

    RBR comes across to me as being very hypocritical here. They were the most vocal for change to the tires to begin with. They made it sound like they weren’t asked and yet they were. They are the ones winning right now, and so would benefit the most, one could project, with improved tires. So I think that basically RBR has gladly sat on the sidelines with their loud mouths flapping, protests in hand, while they let others potentially fall on their sword. Well played, but it doesn’t gain you an ounce of respect from me.

    • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 10th June 2013, 17:22

      and that’s resisting “endless diatribes”?!
      :)

      • Ivano (@) said on 10th June 2013, 17:25

        Robbie works for Mercedes. Too continously write so much on this matter means someone is paying him. ;)

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 17:36

          Lol….na I just type fast…and I refuse to believe Mercedes and Pirelli are that corrupt.

          • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th June 2013, 18:09

            and I refuse to believe Mercedes and Pirelli are that corrupt.

            And sometimes, the best lessons in life come from delusion. Are you really this serious? Fact is, they used their current car with their current drivers for three days or 1000km. How it is going to be interpreted by the lawyers is another matter. But we are not lawyers which by default will turn and twist everything to their own interest.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 18:18

            Of course I am that serious. So answer the question then that I have been posing for a week and that nobody has been able to answer. If this was something other than a Pirelli tire test which they have in their contract a clause to do, and in fact this was Mercedes trying to get away with something, how did they convince Pirelli to collude with them to provide them with tires, and what would Pirelli gain by colluding and by trying to advantage Mercedes in their Championship run?

          • crr917 (@crr917) said on 10th June 2013, 18:54

            @robbie Favour?

          • caci99 (@caci99) said on 10th June 2013, 18:59

            @robbie You’re holding on the answer of that question as if it will solve the Sphinx enigma. The questions is not there, the point is Mercedes did tests with their current car and their current drivers. Nobody can deny this. And Mercedes did benefited from the test, as a team and as drivers. Trying to put it on to another perspective, is avoiding the main problem.

          • kpcart said on 10th June 2013, 19:02

            it is corruption! but that is a dirty word, and mercedes know that so it wont be thrown up much! they are a rich company and are willing to take chances breaking the rules. Mercedes have nothing to lose! they have people like you saying things like “I refuse to believe Mercedes and Pirelli are that corrupt” – but for them it is a matter of finishing higher up the grid or finishing 4th or 5th. they are a billionaire company and the precident has been set with Mercedes when they were fined $100 million in 2007, it is very little money and still great exposure! teams like this thrive on people’s (like yourself) view of them. it is pretty black and white what mercedes did, they broke a specific rule (no in-season testing), and are hoping other forces like lawyers will make everything fine, but at the same time they do not care! because any fine will be a mediocre slap on the wrist, and brand-label fans will still follow them.

          • Ivano (@) said on 10th June 2013, 19:07

            @robbie

            Corrupt, no. Broke the rules, yes.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 19:08

            @caci99 I think the question I pose is the very crux of the issue and is entirely the point. Mercedes simply wouldn’t have done this test, simply would not have ignored the in-season testing ban (they’re not idiots) if they did not feel they had permission from the FIA via Pirelli’s clause to test with a team.

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 10th June 2013, 18:54

      Well said. Let’s also not forget that just as this test was being organized and run, Mateschitz, Horner, Marko were crying like stuck pigs about how terrible these tires are for the sport and the future of mankind. And Pirelli sprung into action in a quick jiffy, announcing immediate changes to the tires. People here went bezerk about RBR making a farce of the sport by bullying Pirelli into giving them tires they like. So there is some irony here. Many people now are saying, oh look Mercedes finished third because tire test!!1!!. But RBR absolutely stomped the field yesterday and seemed to have no tire issues whatsoever. Maybe RBR has played a blinder on Mercedes and the field. Those guys are a wiley bunch.

      • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 10th June 2013, 19:03

        @dmw

        I think you are right, I think the fia should be called the rbia, the red bull international assistance.

        • FlyingLobster27 said on 10th June 2013, 20:05

          I’m amazed at how the Horse Whisperer became common sense after the Spanish GP and how people are saying that RB are getting all their own way. But Ferrari also reported the Mercedes test to the Monaco stewards. Ferrari also opposed the change to tyre compounds that isn’t going to happen (that said, a compound change wasn’t necessary to fix the more important -IMO- delamination issue, say Pirelli). And FIArrari is suddenly gone?

          • Ivano (@) said on 11th June 2013, 9:57

            I find it interesting how non-Ferrari fans claim there’s a FIArrari, while Ferrari fans on other forums claim there’s a FIAttania (For Brittania). Guess it’s all down to how emotions sway perspectives.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th June 2013, 9:59

            @ivano

            FIAttania

            That’s the first time I’ve seen that one. A bit rich after the let-off Ferrari got in 2010.

          • Ivano (@) said on 11th June 2013, 10:03

            @keithcollantine

            I’ve come across here several times in the comments section, also on Gazzetta.it, and on a French forum I use to follow, but forgot the name.

            http://www.auto.it/autosprint

            The funniest is Italians that don’t support Ferrari, and they call the Tifosi, Ferrariotas, for extreme patriots.

          • Ivano (@) said on 11th June 2013, 10:05

            @keithcollantine

            *Whoops, meant here as in http://www.auto.it/autosprint here, not on F1Fanatic…

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 11th June 2013, 13:41

            @ivano @keithcollantine

            FIAttania [...] I’ve come across here several times in the comments section

            Quick google search for “FIAttania” reveals 3 (three) hits. One of them is your comment above (I’m actually quite impressed about how fast Google managed to index it) and the other two are not F1 related… Zero hits from gazzetta.it, auto.it, or any other Italian site. Just saying.

          • Ivano (@) said on 1st July 2013, 21:40

            @maroonjack

            @keithcollantine

            LOL, okay, can’t stop laughing, but maroonjack, you well did looking it up.
            Google however doesn’t search the chat boxes that Gazzetta uses attached to each article, nor content on most forums, nor Facebook comments.
            Also google will pick up the websites of your area’s language. To give you an example, my real name often mentioned on Facebook pages that I chat often on, google doesn’t pick it.
            Just saying!

      • kpcart said on 10th June 2013, 19:17

        shows RBR are a great team and play within the rules. RBR have had things investigated before but always prove to be in the limits of the rules. the mercedes test is not the rules if you read the rules, they did not find a loophole like redbull and other smart teams do, they just chose to plain break the rules.

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 11th June 2013, 7:53

      First: This is irrelevant. The rules do not make allowances for who has arranged the tests, only that in-season testing is illegal.

      Second: This is irrelevant. It is not Red Bull’s job to police the sport (although they and other teams have been fond of doing so in the past), even if they were aware that Mercedes was going to conduct a test before the event (they weren’t).

      Third: Mercedes better have some good lawyers. Going by the letter of the Sporting Regulations I can’t see where their supposed loophole is.

      Fourth: This is irrelevant. The question is not about Red Bull’s conduct but whether the Mercedes test was illegal.

      Fifth: This is irrelevant. The question is not about whether Mercedes gained an advantage from the test, but whether they should legally have been testing at all.

      Try to concentrate. If Mercedes have conducted an in-season test not covered by one of the very few exceptions granted in the relevant article of the Sporting Regulations, they have broken the rules. All else is whataboutery.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th June 2013, 9:35

        @red-andy

        If Mercedes have conducted an in-season test not covered by one of the very few exceptions granted in the relevant article of the Sporting Regulations, they have broken the rules. All else is whataboutery.

        Well said.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2013, 10:02

          But at the same time, that “whataboutery” might be what demonstrates that Mercedes conducted a test that was legal under one of those exceptions. There has been far too much discussion over what penalty Mercedes should be given, and virtually nothing about those exceptions (though I haven’t had the chance to read every single comment on the subject). In fact, this is the first mention that I can recall seeing about the existence of those exceptions.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2013, 10:24

            There has been far too much discussion over what penalty Mercedes should be given, and virtually nothing about those exceptions

            I have seen quite a bit of discussion on what might be the way Mercedes see their escape from being punished last week @prisoner-monkeys, but the fact that we do not have details on it (and are not the FIA to decide what merit there is in them, although that is open for discussione), means there’s only so much to be said and written about it.

            It likely boils down to Mercedes wanting to argue that “conducting a test for a supplier” does not fall under “testing by a competitor”.

            But unless and until the FIA buys that line (that would mean many suppliers would suddenly want to test!) Mercedes have clearly broken the rules.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2013, 11:04

            @bascb

            It likely boils down to Mercedes wanting to argue that “conducting a test for a supplier” does not fall under “testing by a competitor”.

            But unless and until the FIA buys that line (that would mean many suppliers would suddenly want to test!) Mercedes have clearly broken the rules.

            I agree, but I keep thinking back to the contract between Pirelli and the FIA, which apparently gave Pirelli the power to carry out an extraordinary test, and which I have not seen debunked (but, again, I haven’t had the opportunity to read every comment).

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 12:52

            @prisoner-monkeys

            It seems beyond doubt that there is a clause in Pirelli’s contract which seems to allow for tests to be conducted. However the nature of this clause is unclear, and likely to remain unclear because the whole contract will almost certainly have a nondisclosure agreement built it. We can only infer some subtle points from some fo the statements made about it. We know, for example:

            That FOTA looked at this clause last year and concluded that this did not automatically entitle Pirelli to ask for a team to participate in a test which would pit that team in breach of article 22. Thus, that in order for such a test to go ahead, there would need to be full agreement from all teams (effectively the conditions under which proposed changes to the sporting code could be passed)

            Secondly, we know that Pirelli approached the FIA about this earlier in the year, and while the FIA didn’t say no, they did impose certain restrictions – including making the opportunity available to all teams.

            So, we can take from this one thing for sure – that the clause in Pirelli’s contract does not automatically entitle them to call a test without any further justification or condition. There will be certain conditional restrictions, and it can’t be taken as read that even in the case of an exceptional test being possible, that it automatically absolves the team involved from the responsibility of complying with the sporting regulations.

            I would say that the clause and the regulations, when looked at side by side, leave a certain amount of ambiguity as to which takes precedence. Indeed, we know already that one subject for debate will be the definition of the term “undertaken by” as worded by Article 22 when defining what constitutes a ‘test’. Therein lies the whole argument, so far as I can see it. A differing interpretation of the wording both of the sporting regs, and of the clause in Pirelli’s contract. The entire case will likely revolve around this, and it’ll be one for the lawyers to debate for long hours to come.

            What makes this case exceptional in F1 history, is that it is being looked at from a legal perspective, and not from a political or sporting one. So where in the past teams may well have gotten away with things on the basis of an interpretation of rules which is clearly and demonstrably against the reasonable interpretation, it’s possible that this kind of brinksmanship won’t actually hold up when looked at from a purely legal perspective. It will be, as much as anything, a question as to whether or not it is reasonable to apply a creative interpretation to what seems like a fairly clear cut rule, on the basis of a very small area of ambiguity over how you might interpret as little as a single word in a whole paragraph.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2013, 13:17

            @mazdachris

            So, we can take from this one thing for sure – that the clause in Pirelli’s contract does not automatically entitle them to call a test without any further justification or condition. There will be certain conditional restrictions, and it can’t be taken as read that even in the case of an exceptional test being possible, that it automatically absolves the team involved from the responsibility of complying with the sporting regulations.

            But you have to ask whether both Pirelli and Mercedes understood this in this manner. You say that this is being looked at from a legal perspective, rather than political or sporting one. However, a lot of law comes down to interpretation. Case-in-point, the protest against Red Bull’s floor holes at Monaco last year. The protest hinged on what defined a hole and what defined a slot. Both Red Bull and the teams who lodged the protest presented two mutually-exclusive interpretations of the rules. One said that the slot needed to extend all the way out to the edge of the floor; the other said that a slot could be enclosed within the dimensions of the floor. Only one of these interpretations of the law could exist.

            I expect the same thing will happen here: when asked to explain themselves, Mercedes and/or Pirelli will point to various clauses within contracts and sporting regulations that would make the test justifiable. The tribnal will need to decide whether this interpretation of the rules and contracts made the test legal.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 14:15

            @mazdachris

            It will be, as much as anything, a question as to whether or not it is reasonable to apply a creative interpretation to what seems like a fairly clear cut rule, on the basis of a very small area of ambiguity over how you might interpret as little as a single word in a whole paragraph.

            For me that pretty much sums up how F1 operates, hence the consistant conversations we have had over the years about the inconsistancy of the inforcement of the rules in F1, and their often intentionally vague wording to that end.

            @red-andy Of course all else is whataboutery. That’s how F1 operates. I don’t quite get your argument in that you claim in your First point there are no allowances, yet you end off with ‘if’ Mercedes has conducted a test…and ‘one of the very few exceptions granted…’ What exceptions are you talking about then, having just said there are no allowances?

            @bascb

            It likely boils down to Mercedes wanting to argue that “conducting a test for a supplier” does not fall under “testing by a competitor”.

            But unless and until the FIA buys that line (that would mean many suppliers would suddenly want to test!) Mercedes have clearly broken the rules.

            I think it boils down to Mercedes arguing that conducting a test for a supplier…who had a clause in their contract to test and who had permission from the FIA to test…is what you should have said…

            And…imho, many suppliers will not suddenly want to test because they won’t likely have a clause in their contract to even have a leg to stand on in terms of even dreaming of a test, let alone asking, and getting, and getting a team to help them, and doing one.

            I personally trust that Brawn is smart enough to know the dire consequences of trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with an illegal in-season test, and therefore there MUST be reason he is so comfortable that they did nothing wrong.

            I think at the tribunal the onus is going to be moreso on Pirelli to ‘prove’ their case…seems funny to even say it since they went to FIA about this, and they have a clause in their contract to do a test and that would require a team breaching an alleged black and white rule. As I have said several times…if this was Mercedes doing something underhanded, then at a minimum Pirelli is just as guilty if not moreso for supplying tires to Mercedes…ie. Brawn could have had the most evil cheaty intentions in mind (impossible to even fathom) and that would have gone nowhere without Pirelli’s help. Pirelli could have gone to the FIA to alert them that Mercedes is trying to test, just as RBR, when they were asked but declined, could have gone to the FIA to alert them about Pirelli, if there weren’t these shades of grey.

            1. The F1 mandated Pirellis were taken a step too far this year, and that wasn’t discovered by anyone until the season had begun.

            2. Lack of testing has been part of the reason for 1.

            3. Pirelli has a clause in their contract to test.

            4. Since the tires F1 wants were too aggressive F1 needs to help Pirelli tweak them and understands they are the ones that asked for these tires, and they are the ones that limit testing as much as they do.

            5. In order for Pirelli to test they need a team to help. Ferrari did. RBR was asked and declined but didn’t tell us that when they were crying that everyone should have been asked.

            6. Brawn wouldn’t have done this if he perceived any risk.

            7. If Brawn intentionally breached a rule, Pirelli are just as guilty for supplying them tires and there’s about to be a massive blowup in F1. I just don’t get that vibe from anyone in F1 who has commented. Brawn and NR would have only said ‘no comment’ in Montreal, rather than admitting freely what they did.

            I think the main concern when it comes down to it for the tribunal will be the use of a 2013 car and drivers and was data shared and the answers to that will be from Pirelli yes a 2013 car and drivers was essential (they’ve already said that in public), no Mercedes didn’t insist on it, they did, and it was a Pirelli test run by Pirelli engineers using codes for the tires and no data has been shared with Mercedes.

            Everyone in the tribunal should be able to agree fairly quickly a test was essential and there’s accomodation for said extraordinary test, others were asked therefore is was not ‘secret’ (which automatically implies underhanded) but had to be done expediantly, and it was best that a top 3 team wasn’t used anyway. Nor would a bottom 3 team have helped as much.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th June 2013, 14:25

            @robbie

            If Brawn intentionally breached a rule, Pirelli are just as guilty

            No they aren’t because Pirelli, unlike Mercedes, are not competitors and therefore are not bound by the Sporting Regulations which forbid in-season testing.

          • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 11th June 2013, 14:38

            @robbie

            I don’t quite get your argument in that you claim in your First point there are no allowances, yet you end off with ‘if’ Mercedes has conducted a test…and ‘one of the very few exceptions granted…’ What exceptions are you talking about then, having just said there are no allowances?

            I said the rules don’t make allowances for who arranged the test. Claiming it was a Pirelli test and not a Mercedes one is meaningless, because the rules make no allowances for such a distinction.

            Regarding the exceptions to the in-season testing ban, these are clearly laid out in Article 22.4, paragraph h) of the Sporting Regulations. In-season testing is banned apart from the official FIA young driver test, four aerodynamic tests on straight-line or constant-radius tracks, and in a case where a team is going to change their drivers mid-season, and enter a driver who has not raced an F1 car in the last two years. There are no other exceptions.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 14:54

            @keithcollantine

            Ok, you’ve said that before, and I get your meaning but I still don’t get what to do with that. I’ve asked before, and would be perfectly happy to be cleared up with answers to the following questions then.

            1. If Pirelli are not bound by the Sporting Regulations what would be the point of a clause agreed in their contract to test?

            2. How could Pirelli not be guilty of something, in spite of not being bound by the Sporting Regulations, if in fact they supplied tires to a team doing a forbidden in-season test?

            3. If Pirelli are not bound by the Sporting Regulations what regulations are they bound by? There must be some. Surely one of them would be that as the sole tire supplier for F1 they are not to aid and abet any one team moreso than any other to advance them in their competitive run for the Championships?

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 15:10

            @red-andy

            I said the rules don’t make allowances for who arranged the test. Claiming it was a Pirelli test and not a Mercedes one is meaningless, because the rules make no allowances for such a distinction.

            Fair enough, and certainly none of the exceptions you spell out apply here. But to me just because the rules don’t care who arranged the test, does not mean the motive isn’t relative. I remain steadfast that Mercedes did not ask for this test, Pirelli did, implying that Mercedes didn’t wake up one morning and decide to try to get away with an illegal in-season test and get Pirelli to supply them tires. I think it is highly relevant, in spite of the letter of the law, that Pirelli went to the FIA first and foremost. Without problematic tires does anyone think Mercedes would actually try to get away with a forbidden in-season test, and that Pirelli would simply say ya sure, where do you want us to send the tires?

            So there’s the letter of the law and there’s motives and intentions, and since FIA was involved in Pirelli having a test clause in their contract, and had given permission to test to Pirelli according to the FIA and Hembrey, how much must Mercedes be hung out to dry?

            Brawn seems confident he did nothing wrong, so it’s almost like you et al are implying he was made comfortable that there would be no risk to this test, only to now have the rug pulled out from him for a breach he had been led to believe was legally covered.

          • Hairpin (@hairpin) said on 11th June 2013, 16:07

            @mazdachris and others, this may be the section of the regs that you are refering to and clears up any doubt about what is or isn’t testing.
            TRACKANDWINDTUNNEL TESTING
            22.1 Track testing shall be considered any track running time not part of an Event undertaken by a competitor entered in the Championship, using cars which conform substantially with the
            current FormulaOne Technical Regulationsin addition to those from the previous or subsequent year, with the exception of promotional events carried out using tyres provided specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 16:12

            @prisoner-monkeys

            I expect the same thing will happen here: when asked to explain themselves, Mercedes and/or Pirelli will point to various clauses within contracts and sporting regulations that would make the test justifiable. The tribnal will need to decide whether this interpretation of the rules and contracts made the test legal.

            This is pretty much what I’m saying – it’ll be down to what it says in the contract. I would dispute that there is anything within the sporting regulations that they could rely on. On the face of it the mention of ‘competitor’ in Article 22.1 may open up an avenue for interpretation, but as I point out on the second page of this discussion, this possible avenue appears to be shut off when you read the Appendices of the sporting regulations.

            As I say, we don’t know what the Pirelli clause says, but the fact this has got this far must surely imply that there isn’t a clause which clearly and indisputably gives Pirelli the right to ask a team to breach Article 22 of the sporting regs. Otherwise surely it would have been the work of a moment for them to clarify the situation.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th June 2013, 16:26

            Yes we don’t know what the Pirelli clause says and because, according to Keith, they are not bound by the Sporting Regulations because/and they are not a competitor, then I would suggest that they in fact must have the feeling as does Mercedes that they have some legal legs to stand on, and as I suggested elsewhere, surely Pirelli has it in their contract that they are not to aid and abet any one team as the sole tire supplier to F1.

            All this black and white, shades of grey, interpretations of the rules to the letter of the ‘law’ (real law or FIA law) and I still sum it up this way….Mercedes and Pirelli simply would not have found the risk of this test nearly worth it if they did not have confidence that there are extraordinary provisions that we the public are not privy to.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2013, 19:50

            Hm, @prisoner-monkeys you mention

            but I keep thinking back to the contract between Pirelli and the FIA, which apparently gave Pirelli the power to carry out an extraordinary test, and which I have not seen debunked

            But really while interesting that Pirelli is allowed to test current F1 cars to test their tyres, does not mean that F1 teams can do that test with them, because when those teams are bound by the sporting regulations, they are not allowed to take part in such a test.
            In theory then Pirelli would have had someone built them a “contemporary F1 car” for testing, although I am fully aware that is not really viable. But that is an issue which has to be solved in general, not something that changes the sporting regulations.

  6. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 10th June 2013, 18:28

    Good, let’s get this over with quickly. I hope they will get off lightly, but I’m not sure they deserve to. At least in 10 days time we should have all the details on who gave permission for what, and who should be blamed if anybody.

  7. kpcart said on 10th June 2013, 18:37

    If on the evening of the 20th we get a result of NOT GUILTY for Mercedes, it will be the biggest farce of the last 10-15 yrears in f1.
    1. What is already proved is Mercedes tested its current car when in-season testing is banned.
    2. What can not be proved is if Mercedes gained an advantage
    Unfortunately i think most of the trial will unfairly be based on point 2, because that is what the Mercedes media and propaganda bandwagon are working this trial up to. it is 100% for sure that Mercedes broke the sporting regulations (point 1), but everything is being done to deny that, and try to place blame on others (Pirelli), and try to get away with it because they imply they didn’t gain an advantage (an unprovable and totally irrelevant point).
    I hope the tribunal will have the balls to put this new political power horse of F1 (Mercedes) in its place, and tell them they CAN NOT dictate terms.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 19:01

      1. Was is already proved is Pirelli (not Mercedes) tested tires using Mercedes 2013 car(s) and drivers.

      2. What Mercedes media and propaganda bandwagon? If anyone is on it I am, and I feel like a minority, with most people seeming ready willing and able to hang Mercedes by a noose. And how are Mercedes suddenly a ‘new’ political power horse? And how are THEY trying to dictate terms?

      If you think Pirelli is innocent tell me what they would have to gain by colluding with Mercedes to do an illegal test, if that’s what it was…a Mercedes illegal test as you seem to be implying, not a Pirelli contracted tire test? How did Mercedes convince Pirelli to give them tires for this test, if that’s how underhanded this all is? And if this was an illegal Mercedes test and Pirelli colluded with them by providing them with tires, why haven’t the headlines been screaming about Pirelli corruption and massive lawsuits the likes we’ve never seen before? What would Pirelli gain from colluding with Mercedes illegally? Everyone is on the same tires. It’s not like Pirelli has a tire competitor they’re trying to beat.

      • kpcart said on 10th June 2013, 19:12

        pirelli can do what they want, they are do not need to adhere to the sporting codes like mercedes, there is your answer. Mercedes do however, and everyone in f1 knows that, even you, hence why redbull and ferrari protested, and hence why mercedes will no doubt be punished on the 20th.
        so you think honestly that Mercedes did not breach the rules of no in season testing? you actually believe a “pirelli tyre test” has precedence over the FIA regulations, and you think that any team would do that to help pirelli????? and not to help their position in the standings? what sort of team would help out a tyre company without seeing gains for themselves??? and then relate that to the sporting codes.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 19:32

          If Pirelli ‘can do what they want’ then why would they need a clause in their contract that they can do a test?

          so you think honestly that Mercedes did not breach the rules of no in season testing?

          Correct. They had to have permission or they simply would not have thought for one second that they could or should even try to get away with an in-season test. The fact that it was a Pirelli tire test makes the case that Mercedes was not trying to get away with anything.

          you actually believe a “pirelli tyre test” has precedence over the FIA regulations

          I believe it is obvious that the clause in their contract was put there with the FIA in agreement to it to begin with, and that clause is what caused Pirelli to go to the FIA saying they needed to call upon a team to help them test tires. You don’t think this year’s tires have warranted it?

          what sort of team would help out a tyre company without seeing gains for themselves???

          A team that has been asked to help Pirelli get the tires right for the rest of the season with the FIA’s permission.

          I think the only real questions that the tribunal will look for answers on is the use of 2013 cars and drivers and did Mercedes gain advantage, and I’m confident Pirelli’s testimony will be that a 2013 car and drivers was essential and no they did not share their data with Mercedes nor did Mercedes try to make it a Mercedes test. Pirelli engineers did the testing. Mercedes provided the car(s) and drivers. FIA gave them the green flag. From all I can gather the only thing FIA wasn’t clear on was that 2013 cars would be used and when the test would occur, but as I say Pirelli will make the case that 2013 cars were essential and that they were hyper-sensitive to not helping Mercedes advance in their Championship cause.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th June 2013, 19:51

            @robbie

            The fact that it was a Pirelli tire test makes the case that Mercedes was not trying to get away with anything.

            The rules do not distinguish between a “Pirelli tyre test” and other types of testing so no such case can be made.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th June 2013, 20:33

          That’s fair but to me that is what the tribunal is about and if they are going to allow a clause in Pirelli’s contract to do testing, then FIA must have known that was going to take partnership with a team to accomplish. So somewhere along the line FIA must have known there was going to have to be an exception to the rule. Or why bother with a clause in Pirelli’s contract?

          My armchair approach being that the case Pirelli and Mercedes will make will be that it was not about Mercedes conducting a normal F1 test, which I would think is the spirit of the no in-season testing rule. I’m projecting that since Brawn seems completely comfortable that they did nothing wrong, there must be reason for that. If it is as you say that the rules do not distinguish between a Pirelli tire test and other types of testing, then clearly Mercedes has breached the rule and have made a fatal mistake. Since I doubt they would make a fatal mistake…ie. the risk of one test wouldn’t be worth what I think should be massive consequences, so Brawn/Mercedes must have felt they were on pretty solid ground in spite of knowing full well ‘the rules’.

          In other words, when I say “The fact that it was a Pirelli tire test makes the case that Mercedes was not trying to get away with anything.”…what I mean is that Mercedes did not go to Pirelli and say nudge nudge wink wink we want to do an in-season test that is clearly a breach of the rules…we just need tires…you in? And then what…Pirelli said, yeah sure, what the hay, no harm no foul in that…that would be well worth risking everything.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2013, 8:08

      If on the evening of the 20th we get a result of NOT GUILTY for Mercedes, it will be the biggest farce of the last 10-15 yrears in f1.

      When Red Bull were forwarded to the stewards at last year’s German Grand Prix for using a blown diffuser when blown diffusers were against the rules, they were found not to be guilty because the way they were blowing their diffusers wasn’t actually against the rules. It obeyed the letter of the law, but ignored the spirit.

      If Mercedes have done the same thing, and run their test in a grey area that is technically legal, if extremely unsporting, then why should be penalised when other teams have escaped unscathed for violating the technical regulations in the past.

      You are in no position to judge Mercedes’ actions. You are in no position to demand a verdict in their hearing. You are in no position to hand down a sentence. And you are not in that position because you only have access to a fraction of the information available on the subject.

      • Completly agree, and this is also why ive kept goin on about Redbulls flexi wings. People keep saying ‘but they didnt break the rules’. Yeah, they found a way to pass the test, but then go and do what the test was intended to out-law once the car was on-track. Hence why the test itself was changed..

        Also while im here, cheap shot by Horner on BBC coverage on sunday talking about how Merc have used the test to try techniques like swapping the rear tyres around to get more life out of them. When, even an average joe like myself knows Merc have been doing this since Australia and there is plenty of pictures out there to prove it. When Horner used that as an example as to Merc gaining from this test, it just showed how they’re clutching at any straw they can to make Merc look bad, either that, or hes knowingly spreading false information.

  8. crr917 (@crr917) said on 10th June 2013, 18:50

    10 days to fine tune the guillotine :)

  9. Traverse (@) said on 10th June 2013, 20:17

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about, it was a private Pirelli test that didn’t help Mercedes in any way, shape, or form. Mercedes certainly didn’t attain any critical info that could be used to improved their tyre management, nor did they try to conceal the test, they only used plain helmets because their regular, colourful, sponsorship laden helmets might of attracted wasps, which would’ve hindered the drivers vision and affected the test…a test that was designed purely for the benefit of Pirelli…and didn’t benefit Mercedes in any way…

  10. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 10th June 2013, 21:20

    This whole matter is going way overboard. It is a clear sense of common sense. Even more simplified for those who haven’t gotten up to speed : Mercedes has brains. Many brains. The rules are clear, as are the consequences of breaching it. Then why, in god’s name, would Mercedes risk it all and do this test? Logic.

  11. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 10th June 2013, 21:39

    the whole matter in the testgate seems to point toknow wether the FIA gave its agreement… or not. But even with that Merc know the rules and should have refused this test as it was clear that other teams would protest. Why so much secrecy then? I think they knew it would breach the rules, but had in someway a form of go from fia. Maybe the fia should also be called before the court…?
    My bet:
    – fine for pirelli
    – points deduction for merc
    – (and aside from that the in-season testing return for 2014 despite the heavy costs for small teams)

  12. stert said on 10th June 2013, 21:43

    This is really a story that is writing itself. There is a meeting in ten days. Until then let’s hope Ross is surveying the rule book, hoping to slightly ‘bend’ the spirit of the rules….

  13. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 10th June 2013, 22:39

    Guess we shall finally see how the rubber meets the road.

  14. budchekov (@budchekov) said on 11th June 2013, 1:41

    Seems like this should have been resolved before Montreal, ten more days !
    Ironic that the ‘management ‘ works at a snails pace, are they otherwise occupied with more pressing things like getting a tan in Bora Bora ?
    Bad for the teams bad for the fans IMHO, until it’s resolved a black cloud hangs over F1.

  15. I think it will come down to the defenition of a 2013 car.
    I’m sure Ross & the Merecedes team will have considered all options before doing the test.

    Maybe the key 2012 components in the right place changes the car from 2013 – 2012?

    M

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 11th June 2013, 13:14

      @torort
      A 2012 car would still be in breach of Article 22, since a 2012 car is still effectively a legal car which could be raced. It would be considered ‘representative’ of a current car.

      From Brawn’s wording over the weekend, Mercedes’ justification appears to be that this was a test conducted by Pirelli for which they merely provided a car and drivers. Article 22 defines a test as being ‘undertaken by a competitor’ so if they can reasonably establish that this was undertaken by Pirelli, then they’re not in breach of the rules, on a point of technicality.

      • Dave (@davea86) said on 11th June 2013, 17:21

        The thing that would make that defence difficult is that the Mercedes race drivers took part in the test. Pirelli have Lucas di Grassi and Jaime Alguersuari as test drivers so they should have been able manage without Hamilton and Rosberg driving (Mercedes could have at least used Davidson, Bird or Hartley as their reserve drivers).

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