Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA Tribunal today

F1 Fanatic round-up

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Mercedes and Pirelli will learn if they will be punished for their controversial pre-Monaco private tyre test today when they face an FIA tribunal.


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

Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA hearing over tyre testing (BBC)

“Mercedes and tyre supplier Pirelli face disciplinary charges on Thursday on what promises to be a dramatic day that could have major repercussions.”

Mercedes test row: how the International Tribunal works (Autosport)

“Formula 1’s attention moves to the FIA’s headquarters in Paris on Thursday for an International Tribunal (IT) hearing into the Mercedes secret test controversy.”

Lewis Hamilton fears for his legacy after ‘wasting away best years’ at McLaren (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “I got to F1 and nearly won in my first year, then won I won in my second year. I’ve never had a car to really compete since then. The car makes such a big difference so you’re just wasting away your best years.”

Lotus will be the No 1 team on the Formula One grid ‘within a year’, claims new investor Mansoor Ijaz (Telegraph)

Mansoor Ijaz: “We?ll be number one in 12 months. I say it simply, flatly, completely – we’ll be number one in 12 months.”

McLaren still struggling as we head to Silverstone, admits Jenson Button (Guardian)

Jenson Button: “We would love to be able to give the fans a win. We will still give the best we have. The important thing is that we do everything we can to put on a good show for the British fans ?ǣ whether that is finishing fifth or seventh, I don’t know where we are going to be ?ǣ but we have to feel we got everything out of it and we are happy with our achievement.”

Indian Grand Prix organisers slam ‘malicious’ rumours over future (Autosport)

“Indian Grand Prix organisers have dismissed ‘baseless and malicious’ rumours that the event could be in doubt after its 2014 edition.”


Comment of the day

After Infinity Racing acquired a 35 per cent stake in Lotus, @Matt90 wishes that the new consortium had come up with a slightly more original name…

Team Enstone really are intent on confusing us as much as possible. First the ??Lotus? debacle, and now a new major stakeholder has a near identical name to Red Bull?s main sponsor.

From the forum

Anticipating this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Julie and M744All!

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

Luigi Fagioli lost his life on this day in 1952 when he succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash during the Monaco Grand Prix. The race had been held as a non-championship event for sports cars three-and-a-half weeks earlier.

Fagioli finished third in the first ever world championship for Alfa Romeo in 1950, taking five podium finishes but no wins. He quit F1 two races into the 1951 season.

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168 comments on Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA Tribunal today

  1. DD42 said on 20th June 2013, 0:40

    Alonso say’s he’s ready 100% for the next 3 races but when he’s used terms like 120% and 150% before does that imply he’s not really ready?!

  2. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 20th June 2013, 1:17

    I’m so glad as a fan of Hamilton that he had the inspiration to finally **** of that hot mess…better late than never.

  3. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 20th June 2013, 1:29

    Mansoor Ijaz sounds like an early-2010 Tony Fernandes

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 20th June 2013, 1:58

      True, but hopefully they’ll be able to invest more into their development and become more competitive. They’ve done great so far with less funding than the other top teams. I hope they’ll be able to compete for victories on a more regular basis

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 20th June 2013, 2:29

        @metallion I have no beef with Lotus – in fact they’re my second favorite team (1st being McLaren). But I do dislike overconfident people who claim they will be doing well before they even start.

        • Metallion (@metallion) said on 20th June 2013, 2:32

          Yeah I agree with you, it’s pointless to say things like that. I think it’s perfectly fine to aim for the championship, they should. But to talk like they definitely will be champions in one year’s time is just silly.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 20th June 2013, 2:46

            @metallion It’s ironic really. I’m an entrepreneur – and can be overly optimistic by nature. I’ve certainly never started a business without believing in all my heart that it would be number one.

            I guess the difference is I knew in my mind I was justified – and I just don’t know his justification. Lol.

          • Jakob (@jakobh) said on 20th June 2013, 13:35

            Remember BAR in 1999

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 7:26

          I guess there is a difference between starting up a new team and claiming you will be successful within sort notice and buying into a team that has all the facilities, and a good technical team, but lacks the money to make full use of it @raymondu999. But I do agree that this sounds overly optimistic, maybe they hope they can still convince Kimi to stay?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th June 2013, 8:56

      @raymondu999 – What’s the alternative? “We joined Lotus because we want to be second-best”?

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 20th June 2013, 10:17

      Maybe he’s going to be able to poach back James Allison……or Ross Brawn.

  4. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 20th June 2013, 2:37

    I don’t know what kind of questions Hamilton is being asked in the interview with The Sunday Times, but he sure doesn’t come across the right way to me in that Sky article, and sounds a bit like his 2011 spec self. Firstly, he’s 28, not exactly pensioner age and he could dominate the sport for a few years and be a multiple champion easily.

    Secondly, he states that having a single championship “is less prestigious now because so many people have won a championship.” Yep. Nowadays two other drivers since Hamilton have won a championship. They’re practically handing them out. Also 32 drivers have won a championship in total, dividing this figure by 740 (number of drivers to ever finish a GP I found on another website) we get 4.32%, so F1 Champions aren’t common even from a historical perspective.
    I get that he’s annoyed and probably jealous of Vettel’s success, thinking ‘what if’? But it comes across as self-pitying and not entirely respectful. Being a World Champion, I would have thought, does not diminish in prestige based on the number of people who have won it. Winning the Champions League, the Grand Slams or the golfing Opens don’t diminish as accomplishments over the years as more people win them.

    I know I might not be very fair on Lewis here, and blowing it out of proportion, but his logic regarding how special the WDC is very annoying to hear.He’s a Champion, it’s a huge accomplishment. But by saying that it’s less prestigious means that his fellow one-time Champions – From Farina to Rindt, Mansell to Button, have also had their prestige as Champions diminished, and that is simply not true.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 20th June 2013, 2:50

      @colossal-squid COTD right there. Not sure you’ll get it, in light of the Tribunal hearing that will happen today (and the eventual comments avalanche that’ll come with it), but that just sums everything up so well about Lewis.

      Lewis should be aspiring to be like Gilles Villeneuve, not Jacques Villeneuve.

      • From the rest of his comments, it appears that is precisely what he is aspiring to be:
        “So I definitely start to think what I want people to remember me as: I just want to be known as a hard, out and out racer…”

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 20th June 2013, 15:05

        @journeyer Well thank you very much!

        I agree, he should be the no holds barred, win-or-bust romantic racer that was Giles Villeneuve, and Hamilton very often has that approach to racing. As @nigel1 says he aspires to be a maverick in the style of Giles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna. However off the track he does remind me a bit of Jacques – often lost in his own head, prone to mood swings and complaints. But Giles Villeneuve never thought about his ‘legacy’. Neither were Senna, Schumacher or even Alonso as seemingly preoccupied with how they will be remembered.

        They won because that was what winners do. Hamilton? Talented, sure, capable of greatness? Yes, but if he’s that obsessed and troubled over legacy then how will he ever get out of his own way for long enough to create one?

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 20th June 2013, 2:53

      I got an odd feeling from the interview too. He seems concerned that he won’t stand out from the rest of the champions with only one title to his name. He comes off as a bit ungrateful, it’s not like he didn’t have competitive machinery after his first title. Sometimes there’s simply another driver/team doing a better job over the season

    • Kimi4WDC said on 20th June 2013, 5:34

      Parents and upbringing. You can’t blame it on not your usual childhood, as there are plenty of people in the same boat with different values.

      He should do some spiritual/mental development instead of concreting him self in a material world and it’s values. Material aims are nice, but one have to realise that the road to them is by far greater than the goal it self and is actually living!

      But then again, no one knows what is going on in his head and what character he plays with the media.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th June 2013, 6:13

      But whose fortune would you rather have, MSC or BUT ?

    • Matt Clark (@mattc888) said on 20th June 2013, 8:04

      Yep great comment!

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 20th June 2013, 8:51

      I wouldn’t see it like this – he is obviously eager and wants to win more. imo, somebody who is satisfied after 1 title is not a top driver.
      it comes across a bit weird but we shouldn’t forget these guys tick a bit different.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 20th June 2013, 15:10

        I can completely understand that Hamilton would be hungry for more success. He’d have to be to be who he is! However here it comes off to me as something different, as a driver who instead of being driven and hungry for success, is being self pitying for not succeeding as much as he would have liked. In stead of being happy with his accomplishments yet not satisfied with what he’s achieved, he sounds almost petulant and impatient for the success he believes he should have. There’s a crucial difference in these two approaches to me.

    • Yappy said on 20th June 2013, 11:19

      Drive faster. Current most successful driver Vettel visits the factory all the time telling the engineers what he needs to go faster. They are probably sick of him. Hamilton it would seem probably stands in front of a mirror telling himself he is a legend. He has his superstar girlfriend, his image/brand present at most races. Many dislike Vettel but the fact is he is the guy putting the hours in with the question “How do I win?” not sitting at home saying “I am supposed to be a legend”.

      • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 20th June 2013, 11:42


        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 20th June 2013, 14:20

          Yeah I too find LH’s comments strange. Just when I thought he had been saying and doing all the right things at Merc to show he was maturing and was on a fresh start and a fresh challenge away from the nest, he sounds too negative for my liking.

          This is only year one with Mercedes, LH. There is all the potential in the world in the coming years, so why not look on the coming years as holding great potential, rather than sounding like 1 ‘lowly’ WDC isn’t enough and there may not be any more. 1 is in fact very special, so maybe LH’s ego is even bigger than 1 WDC.

          I think what surprises me too is that in 2011 LH admitted off track distractions cost him on the track, so for him to now sound like he only had the car once or twice in his first year or two is disingenuous imho.

          JV’s name has been brought up. A telling interaction via a media interview happened. JV has been known to play guitar and sing in a band and has a CD out too. When someone asked MS what he thought of JV’s ‘music career’ MS said he hoped it would go better for JV than his (JV’s) F1 career. When they asked JV to respond to what MS said, JV said he would have to thank MS for the compliment, since he (JV) was a World Champion, then that would mean MS was wishing him huge success with his band.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 20th June 2013, 15:09

      You cannot measure one’s life in seconds or by number of places on the podium, you measure somebodies life who’s in the public eye by the impact he makes on people, how he touches people, people feel, and if people don’t feel anything, they don’t remember anything. Results only don’t make people feel, but if you live it as a person with flesh, and blood, and you always go for it, you encourage other people to go for it in the various stories in their life

      That was Ari Vatanen. I think Hamilton should think more in terms of why Gilles Villeneuve is in the same bracket as Michael Schumacher if you get what I mean.

      • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 20th June 2013, 16:19

        I think that is the reason that Hamilton is so popular in many ways. From the perspective of the spectator, he is just the most entertaining to watch. He reminds me so much of Rafael Nadal in the sense that he never gives up. He wants to bring the fight to Vettel and Red Bull and you can sense that in him.

        We’ve all heard how Djokovic has said that he chose the wrong time to be born and play tennis with Nadal and Federer and he had to make great improvements to his game to beat them. But he could do that in tennis.

        Unfortunately the car and the team matter so much in F1 that while Lewis can pull a victory or two here and there in an inferior car, he can’t win the WDC without a good car. For champions, you go 1 year without a WDC that’s normal, you go 2 you get hungry for the next one, you go 3 you start worrying and get angry at your team, you go 4 you wonder what on earth is going on, you go 5 you start thinking this might be the end of the road. All Hamilton can think now is what can I possibly do? He wants WDCs and pretty much everyone agrees that he deserves 2 or 3 easily so how the hell can he get them? Hulkenberg is in the same boat too as he deserves at least 1 win but switching to Sauber has set him back quite a bit and he’s Lewis’ age. I can only imagine his frustration. Alonso is upset that he doesn’t have 4 WDCs and he would probably deserve them as much as Prost.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 20th June 2013, 16:34

          I think all LH has to do for now is remind himself that he needed to leave Mac, and he is on a fresh start with a great team that carries all the potential in the world. It is up to him to make it into something by being a vital part of a great team with great potential. He’s lucky to have had the experience he has had so far in F1, including a WDC, and he needs to just remember that he already has everything on his CV that most drivers only dream of, and then put his nose to the grindstone and work toward another WDC. He has nothing to complain about, imho.

    • sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 20th June 2013, 19:15

      Always said he was arrogant and up his own backside. The media didn’t help when he came into the sport building him up to be the next Schooey. He must be gutted that Vettel is younger, has been in F1 for less time and won 3 titles. However his comments are demeaning to the rest of the champions.
      Just because he won a championship every/other year in other categories that he raced in doesn’t mean that he has the right to win in F1.

      • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 20th June 2013, 21:59

        Why is he arrogant? All he’s saying is that he’s getting older and he’s not making the most of the best years of his life. He might become a better racer but he’s not going to get any faster with age.

        • sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 21st June 2013, 14:58

          Read the comment Michael ,i thought he was arrogant when he came into F1 and he still is. I still reckon he won’t win any more championships. Yes there is an element of luck,right car and dedication,i don’t think the dedication is 100%

  5. Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 20th June 2013, 2:59

    Merc should be black flagged for a 1000 KM. Open and shut case but somehow I don’t think it will be.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th June 2013, 6:16

      Since you are obviously privy to all the facts why not share them with us?

      • Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 20th June 2013, 8:53

        Mate they can sugar coat it and manipulate it however which way they like. I like Merc but the facts are that they ran a current car for a 1000KM so what I proposed balances all out . If they didn’t feel they were in breach of any rules why the need to run with plain helmets? They rolled the dice and got caught out. Now they should take there medicine like men and not lay threats to the FIA.

        • Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 20th June 2013, 8:59

          I also don’t like how Pirelli can call on teams to run secret tests even though that team runs an old spec chassis. If one team tests it should be transparent to all teams and they should also have the right to test. Even though Ferrari ran an old spec car you cant tell me that not 1% of knowledge was gained. Wouldn’t surprise me if they even bolted on development parts as well. How do we really know what they run under the carbon covers? Just because its an old spec car doesn’t mean parts aren’t compatible…

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 20th June 2013, 10:46

            There is a diferent between a secret and something the f1 media isn’t interested in, and tests that don’t require that other teams know about them, but are still legal.

            I bet those Pirelli tests happen to be one of the latter 2.

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th June 2013, 15:19

            @ming-mong +1 on that. Ferrari got a chance to test next season’s tyres and the rest didn’t. It also means Alonso and Massa get to influence what happens with the tyres as Hamilton and Rosberg have whereas Vettel gets no input.

            There are 2 issues here for me – one is that Mercedes clearly broke a rule. The other is that some teams getting to test and some not is unfair. Both problems need to be addressed separately.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 20th June 2013, 11:38

          @ming-mong Sugar coat what? You clearly don’t have all the info yet tout daft statements as if you did, you don’t dismiss supposed lies Pirelli has said, nor have you begun to dismiss the “e-mail” Charlie sent to Merc allowing the test. So until you can actually brandish a counter argument, I suggest sitting back and waiting till the full story is given after the Tribunal. Also the Helmets, everyone uses that as if it is the only means of proving this entire thing. Really it is a minor detail and probably done so other big teams that tend to spy (RBR and Ferrari) don’t figure out who it is. Brawn obviously expected people to stay around and see if they were doing anything, hence the pictures of the test. There are spies for all major teams, it is the same reason teams get caught by other teams for breaking curfew. Yet my helmet theory is speculation and unlike you I’m willing to admit that I don’t know exactly why and could easily be wrong.

          • Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 20th June 2013, 13:56

            Firstly I never claimed to have all the facts. Just an opinion. The two facts I did mention have been confirmed by the team, a test took place with a current car for 1000km. In my opinion we will never fully know the truth of what has gone on here. The e-mail you are referring to does it indicate if C.W. was aware that a current spec car was being used? I doubt it. As for the spies, yes there are spies in F1 but if this is how it all came about why id it take to Monaco to surface? As for the helmet theory, its odd, anyone with 1% F1 knowledge could tell its a Merc by the the paint scheme and body shape etc… My guess is it was to disguise which driver was running.

  6. schooner (@schooner) said on 20th June 2013, 3:04

    Obviously, Hamilton’s ultimate achievements are yet to be seen, and one would think that he has more than a few good years left in him. As ever though, even the best drivers need a bit of good fortune to get themselves into the right car at the right time. If Lewis should end his F1 career with only one WDC to his credit, it won’t be because he wasn’t one of the best of the best. Hard to imagine him not grabbing at least one more title, but it could pan out that way.

  7. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 20th June 2013, 4:20

    @Keith, off the topic, do we get to see radio snippets from Canadian Grand Prix, just as you did for Moncao? I thought it was going to one awesome regular feature.

  8. kpcart said on 20th June 2013, 4:22

    hamilton says he never had the car since 2008 to win. rubbish, he had it in 2010 and blew it at the end of the year with 2012 he had the best car, but was not fast in races because of his tyre wear, and
    team errors. 4 years he had a
    chance, and one championship, which he nearly blew also.

    • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 20th June 2013, 12:28


      The truth is, Hamilton is too inconsistent and crash-prone to continuously be in contention for WDC. The only year he did win it (2008) was when Massa (or rather Ferrari) were plagued by similar inconsistency and strategic errors, putting then on an even field with Hamilton. Even then, Massa is hardly the highest rated driver around, and had it been Alonso or Vettel in that Ferrari, they would’ve probably beaten Hamilton 3 races to go.

      He had chances to win in 2010 and 2012 – he didn’t win and wasn’t even close. Alonso didn’t have the best car in 2012 yet he lost to Vettel by 3 points. Had Hamilton been within a similar range in 2010 or 2012 then I would’ve considered his comments legitimate. Right now it sounds like he’d have blown it (like in 2007) even if he has a Red Bull.

      • dkpioe said on 20th June 2013, 14:32

        i think he would only be slightly better then webber in a redbull. Webber is an amazing driver, his years in lower class showed that, it is just a shame he is teamed with THE BEST in vettel.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th June 2013, 15:14

        @einariliyev Can you really say that Hamilton is crash prone though? When was the last crash that you could blame on him?

        He used to be but I don’t think he is any more. Lots of the problems he had last year were down to mistakes by McLaren – not Hamilton.

        I agree he’s had chances though and hasn’t taken them – when things go against him, he lets his head drop and loses a second a lap unlike Vettel who battles away and forces he way back into contention.

        If we’re talking about driver mistakes, surely Alonso has made more than Hamilton so far this year?

    • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 20th June 2013, 12:54

      agreed, he’s had some brilliant cars

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 20th June 2013, 16:00

      I agree with this, when I first read the article I thought someone ought to call the VATICAN there was a mártir right there…

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 20th June 2013, 17:23

      Had the car in 2010? When Red Bull were sometimes 1-1.5s quicker than the rest of the field?

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 20th June 2013, 18:37

      I don’t think you were watching in 2010 or 2012. He made one silly mistake in 2010 (as many, if not fewer, than anybody else) and had one racing incident- his hard racing in that case was fairly justified given how tight the fight for the championship was, and incredibly unlucky to result in retirement. In 2012 the problem was the team and the car- the car was generally fastest, but if it breaks down too often then it can hardly be called the best. Not fast in races? He won 4 races and retired from the lead in 3 races due to no fault of his own, not to mention the Spain debacle. This was one of the least educated comments I’ve read here for a while.

  9. Robert Tang (@robertthespy) said on 20th June 2013, 5:04

    Stirling Moss was also considered as a legendary driver though he never won a championship. A true legend is judge from whether he outperform the car or did something special. As long as I concerned, Lewis beat Alonso, a two time world champion, in his rookie year; he won in 2008 in a controversial style; he won 2 races and took 4 poles in 2009, which his car was crap for the first half of the season and yet he still hold his composure throughout the season; in 2010 he out-performed his car again, scoring the only non-Red Bull that season and fought for the championship until the very end; 2011 was his worst season, yet his drive in Germany and China were still a classic one; only in 2012 he was let down by his car, but probably he should take another look to his win in Austin, how he hunted down Vettel handsomely. (lol)
    Lewis is regarded as one of the quickest driver to date, so why should he concern about his legacy?

    • Robert Tang (@robertthespy) said on 20th June 2013, 5:05

      *non-Red Bull pole

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 20th June 2013, 5:54

      In 2010 he out-performed his car again, scoring the only non-Red Bull pole that season and fought for the championship until the very end

      Actually, 2011 was the year in which he took the only non-Red Bull pole, not 2010. And in 2011, that wasn’t really much to boast about- he should have had more, like in Japan, Abu Dhabi and Hungary.

      Nonetheless, I agree he has done well in his career, it’s him, Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen who are special and will be remembered for a while yet. I disagree with Hamilton’s claim that winning only one title is somehow less prestigious for the reasons @colossal-squid mentioned above.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 20th June 2013, 9:13

        However, I do agree with LH that winning multiple championships is of course, even more special. Doing so is a clear indication that the success wasn’t any sort of flash in the pan, or anything like that.

  10. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 20th June 2013, 6:16

    Well let’s see Hamilton, i don’t know but the team choice is not mine is it?
    Mclaren has not a fast car is true, but if it wasn’t for them you could still be driving something else. It’s easy to look backwards and critic all the wrongs, but i’m sure you’ve done some mistakes and wrong choices too, ask anyone at Mclaren and i’m sure they wanted to be Champions as bad as you, let it go…

  11. BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 8:03

    Very interesting article from Swiss “Blick” (in German) with some quotes from Niki Lauda:

    «Warten wir mal ab! Ich habe das ganze Montreal-Wochenende versucht, den Prozess noch zu verhindern. Red Bull, das mit Ferrari gegen uns den Protest eingelegt hat, war wie Bernie Eccle­stone mit einem aussergerichtlichen Deal einverstanden. Dazu hätte es einen Brief von Mercedes an FIA-Boss Todt gebraucht. Doch unsere Chefs Toto Wolff und Ross Brawn lehnten ihn ab! Jetzt müssen sie eben damit leben!»

    In translation: Lets wait and see! I have been trying to stop the procedure starting during the whole Montreal weekend. Red Bull, which protested us with Ferrari, had agreed with a out of court settlement, as did Bernie. To achieve that, a letter from Mercedes to FIA-boss Todt would have had to be sent. But our team bosses Toto Wolff and Ross Brawn refused it! Now we just have to live with it

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 8:12

      Let me add, that I think its very good they did not do anything like that deal, because it wouldn’t do anything good for the sport – why would RBR (and Bernie) get something from a settlement, but not all the other teams who were at a disadvantage? If anything, the settlement would feel more like a bribe to me.

      Not to mention that I fail to understand why one would not want to get the tribunal to decide on something, apart from Bernie (using RBR and Mercedes) getting one over on Todt by not letting him run the proper procedures. It rather shows though, that there really is a chance Mercedes gets out of this with not much punishment at all (Todt maybe having the FIA make the case that Mercedes did fully cooperate with the investigation, and not having any malign intentions as a reward for not playing Bernies game against Todt?) – Ross Brawn knows Todt well enough to know what to expect, right?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th June 2013, 9:28

        If the FIA offered Mercedes a deal, it suggests that Mercedes have a reasonably strong case.

      • “Let me add, that I think its very good they did not do anything like that deal, because it wouldn’t do anything good for the sport – why would RBR (and Bernie) get something from a settlement, but not all the other teams who were at a disadvantage? If anything, the settlement would feel more like a bribe to me.”

        Seriously, if thats true im utterly disgusted. Accepting money after moaning about another team breaking sporting regulations? holy ****.

      • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 20th June 2013, 12:33

        You’re losing your marbles. How on Earth did you manage to read the words “out of court settlement” and get “a bribe for RBR but not all the other teams” from that?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 12:55

          What would a settlement between Mercedes, Red Bull and FOM amount to otherwise than that @jonsan?

          In my opinion that would feel like a bribe to pull their protest. I am not saying that Red Bull are letting themselves be bribed. But I think the tribunal is a far more open and transparent, and ultimately, better way to deal with this matter

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 20th June 2013, 13:18

            You keep making stuff out out of thin air. Where did you get this “a settlement between Mercedes, Red Bull and FOM” nonsense from?

            Any settlement would have to be between the FIA and Mercedes, as the language you cited but did not understand made clear.

            This “bribes for RB and Bernie” stuff is (a) libelous and (b) makes you sound like a nut.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 13:58

            sigh, @jonsan, just look at the translated quote from Lauda in Blick in my post above. It mentions RBR and Bernie having agreed to a settlement.

            If you want to doubt my German, please understand that I have lived in the country for several years and do business with German speaking people (and have friends there) regularly. But feel free to say I do not understand the language if that makes you feel better.

          • Maciek (@maciek) said on 20th June 2013, 13:58

            Seriously @jonsan try to be civil in your responses; @bascb is one of the steadier heads around here, so hold your tongue boy.

        • dkpioe said on 20th June 2013, 14:38

          I think this lauda quote will be taken out of context by everyone, probably wrongly reported, or just plain not legitiamate (he would be at the tribunal otherwise helping Mercedes from the obvious sinking result).

  12. The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 20th June 2013, 8:43

    Well today looks to be a very interesting one. Lots of questions to be answered and the potential for some fireworks in the form of penalties, fines etc.

    Fans of the “Silver Arrows” must be pretty nervous, perhaps even considering the prospect of going back to whatever they were doing pre 2010… ;)

  13. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 20th June 2013, 8:44

    Anybody knows whether the tribunal is public? I assume not.

    At what time do you think we will get reports on the defence used?

    And when will they decide on the verdict? And when will the verdict be published?

    • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 20th June 2013, 8:52

      I read a report yesterday which said that they would do everything possible to deliver a verdict today

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 9:32

      Its public in the sense that Media are allowed to watch it (from a screen in a seperate room) but not allowed to tweet about it (although it seems Sky is sending text info that is being shown on their website)

      • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 20th June 2013, 9:39

        Yes, the Sky text so far appears pretty damning. The FIA making its case clear: They never authorised the test and that Pirelli are bound by the same rules as the teams

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 9:42

          Not too sure of that @thebladerunner. Remember this is the FIA “prosecution” bringing their case. After all, if Pirelli are bound by the rules that forbid in season testing, then why on earth did the FIA sign a contract with Pirelli that allows them to do tests of up to 1000 km each with teams running current equipment?

          We are certainly going to hear that line of argument from Pirelli later

          • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 20th June 2013, 9:45

            @bascb As the saying goes, “All will be revealed!”

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 20th June 2013, 10:23

            @bascb Currently none of us have read any such contract, and only vague allusions have been made about some kind of clause in their contract. Unless we know exactly what that clause says, and the conditions placed upon it, then it’s pure speculation as to whether it would be applicable in this situation and whether it would, from a purely legal standpoint, overrule Article 22 of the sporting regulations.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 10:31

            True enough @mazdachris, no one has seen the contract. My main point made in the post above, was that its far to early to say that this looks bad for Mercedes and Pirelli after hearing what the FIA accuses them of. After all, its clear the FIA feel they have enough to bring the team and Pirelli before the tribunal. But we will need to see what the defense cases brings forward before starting to get a good picture.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 11:49

            So far it seems Mercedes is holding the line that “they did not conduct a test” because it was a Pirelli test …

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 20th June 2013, 12:50

            Mercedes is holding the line that “they did not conduct a test” because it was a Pirelli test …

            It will be a bit of a mockery of the whole process if that “argument” doesn’t get laughed out of court.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 20th June 2013, 12:55

            @BasCB So it seems that Mercedes haven’t put up any defense that we haven’t seen so far. One thing I hope they try to get to the bottom of, is why would Mercedes go to the trouble of putting themselves in the vulnerable position of running a 2013 off their own backs. Pirelli have made it clear that they didn’t ask Mercedes to do it, and yet Mercedes seem to have gone out on quite a limb here to supply current spec equipment. When they could potentially have supplied an older car and not had any of this bother.

            I wonder if this point will become crucial when they look at Article 151 – what was Mercedes’ motivation for providing a current spec car when there was no call to do so, if not to gain an advantage from it?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 13:04

            The point of who decided on the 2013 car, and why is certainly something that should be an important factor in this, yes.

            I guess we will also get a better view when Pirelli has their say on things @mazdachris

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 13:11

            lets wait and see @jonsan, but so far, and going on these e-mails discussed about the matter, I see why Mercedes would make this case and could get away with it:

            “We heard this morning from the FIA about details of exchanges between the Mercedes and the FIA as Mercedes sought to clarify the position about whether a 2013 car could be used. Paul Harris in his submissions this afternoon explained exactly what email traffic had gone on between Mercedes and the FIA, and perhaps while conceding that Charlie Whiting wasn’t in a position himself to authorise the test, he does say he was in a position to be led to believe by him there was this potential to run the 2013 car.

            “Basically Mercedes made the request to run the 2013 car to the FIA, Charlie Whiting then had an exchange with the in-house legal team at the FIA and it’s fascinating to hear the email reponse that came back from Sebastian Barnard, who’s the FIA’s legal advisor. It goes along the lines of ‘in my view any such testing could not actually be undertaken by competitors, it would be argued that this was done by Pirelli. Would we be able to take this position?’

            “The response from Sebastian Barnard was ‘yes we could take this position, it is not an undertaking from the competitor’. So on the face of it if that’s some advice that’s been given out there it does seem to suggest that there was this potential loophole that it could be a Pirelli test governed by their commercial contract with F1 and it wouldn’t involve the competitor Mercedes and they wouldn’t be in breach of the regulations.”

            That is from what Steve Slater (for Sky Sport) concludes from what he heard/saw about Mercedes defense

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 20th June 2013, 13:26

            it wouldn’t involve the competitor Mercedes

            Ha ha ha ha.

            Really, even by the standards of legalistic doublespeak, that’s going way beyond the bounds or reality. So “the competitor Mercedes” was not “involved”? They used their current cars and their current drivers. If Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg doing 1000KM in the W04 is not “involvement” by “the competitor Mercedes” then the rest of the teams can go ahead and put jet engines in their cars, because the meanings of all words have been abolished.

          • Lee1 said on 20th June 2013, 13:47

            @Jon Sandor

            It could be possible to argue that it was a pirelli test an so therefore did not implicate mercedes in breaking the rules. However surely as Mercedes knew theat the situation was delecate and on the edge of the rules then would it not have been best to notify the other teams so that they could air their views? Also if they turn out to be 100% innocent then it would be wrong to punish them, but on the other hand they can not unlearn what they learned through the testing so the other teams will still want the situation leveling. How would this be handled?

      • Flying Lobster 27 said on 20th June 2013, 16:23

        +1, I’ve been following Nextgen-Auto’s “live text”. To sum it up, the FIA say they never authorised Mercedes to test, Mercedes say “don’t look at us, it wasn’t our test, it was Pirelli’s”, and Pirelli say “we’re not a competitor, so the appropriate place to try us is in front of a civil court”.
        It was a long hearing, so the verdict is due tomorrow. If the chain of accusation is followed, I can see Mercedes getting points docked at worst, the FIA having admitted that Whiting, who was informed of Mercedes’ intention to test, had failed to ensure that all the teams had been invited, and if Pirelli are punished, they’ll contest it in front of another court and maybe withdraw from F1 at the end of the year.

  14. coefficient (@coefficient) said on 20th June 2013, 8:56

    Whilst it is the team’s responsibility to operate within the letter of the the regulations, if Mercedes have indeed been given the go ahead by Charlie Whiting should the FIA be facing sanctions also for failing to ensure their employees were upholding their own regulations?

    • Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 20th June 2013, 9:40

      Did Charlie give the nod for 2013 chassis?

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 20th June 2013, 10:15

        @ming-mong @coefficient
        The FIA didn’t give permission. Mercedes enquired about it via Whiting, who looked into it and basically came back with the answer that testing a 2013 car might be feasible but would need to be ratified by the WMSC and would be subject to various conditions and so on. The FIA have said that any correspondence from Whiting was simply an opinion based on a reading of the rules and absolutely not permission to go ahead and do anything.

        Which pretty much shoots down that defense.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2013, 10:35

        Only if a telephone call that was followed up by Whiting stating some conditions that could make a test fall within the grand scheme of things would be considered to be “giving the nod” @ming-mong.

    • Lee1 said on 20th June 2013, 11:31

      Well, after Lewis overtook kimi off circuit at spa a few years ago then gave back the position, maclaren asked charlie if it was ok and he said yes. Lewis then got punished after the race, so I would say charlie can advise, but his word is not binding.

      I want to know why the mercedes drivers wore anonymous helmets if the test was not secret. Also if the FIA did give them permission then this is still unfair on the other teams. Plus if I was a team that thought they might be on the edge of the rules for what is a test which affects other teams, even if the FIA told them it was ok then surely they should have told the other teams it was happening if not just to cover their own backs? This would have given the other teams the opportunity to question the FIAs decision before mercedes went past the point of no return. What ever the evidence both ways, mercedes can not argue that they did everything they could have to be transparent. They can also not undo the benefits they gained from the test. So regardless of whose fault this was the other teams need some compensation either in testing or points deduction etc. I would say that if it is the FIAs fault then all the other teams should have a 1000 km test asap excluding Mercedes. If it is Mercs fault then they need to be punished severely.

  15. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 20th June 2013, 11:21

    Ouch, Vettel must be reading that article with a huge smile on his face. He’s really gotten under Hamilton’s skin.

    Ironically though, Lewis was spot on with his comparison that him, Vettel, and Alonso are the Senna, Prost and Mansell of F1 today. Only problem is, that he’s the Mansell. That’s not an insult of course, Nigel was a fantastic driver, but is rarely rated as a true legend or giant.

    I’m afraid Lewis’ career is taking a very similar path. He’s often fighting for the WDC and regularly winning races, but only won 1 title his whole career. Tbh, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hami retired with 35 or even up to 40 wins, but only 1 championship to his name.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th June 2013, 12:00


      Ouch, Vettel must be reading that article with a huge smile on his face. He’s really gotten under Hamilton’s skin.

      Or Hamilton wants Vettel to think that he’s gotten under his skin and writes Hamilton off prematurely.

      Honestly, I don’t really see Vettel as some kind of political animal or expert in psychological warfare. I think he’s been sheltered by Red Bull in that respect – he doesn’t need to resort to mind tricks, because he has the team to do that or him.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 20th June 2013, 12:08


      Nigel was a fantastic driver, but is rarely rated as a true legend or giant

      I appreciate that this is just your opinion but it’s one I strongly disagree with: Mansell was personally selected by Enzo Ferrari, was widely regarded in Italy to be one of the best drivers to drive for Ferrari and was the first (and only) driver to win F1 and CART titles in back to back seasons.

      Personally I don’t consider the number of championships a driver wins to be a true indication of their abilities as the car plays such a massive role in F1. A good driver can win a WDC against far better drivers if they’re given a good enough car as Button and Jacques Villeneuve both proved. Give them a dominant car and they can win multiple championships, add a corrupt FIA president who does everything they can to handicap their opponents and they can even go on to win four of them.

      I’d rather be thought of as the modern day Mansell than the modern day Prost, although I would much rather be thought of as the modern day Senna :-)

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 20th June 2013, 17:17

        Of course, Nigel was an awesome driver and I never denied it, but few people would put him in the same breathe as Senna, Prost, or Schumacher. In all honesty, I think that Lewis’ career is heading that rout.

        I’d rather be thought of as the modern day Mansell than the modern day Prost, although I would much rather be thought of as the modern day Senna.

        If that’s your opinion, it’s fine, but I’d rather be a loathed 4 time WDC than a sympathized 1 time WDC. ;-)

    • dkpioe said on 20th June 2013, 12:24

      Hamilton is delusional if he thinks he is Senna in that comparison, maybe Mansell, but more like Piquet.

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 20th June 2013, 17:10

      I rate Lewis highly as a driver, but as a person he’s coming off badly. This article is only the latest one in which he worries about his “legacy”. In conjunction with his proposed museum to his own legacy he comes across as being completely obsessed with his own image. It’s all a bit pathetic really.

      Just focus on driving your car, Lewis, and your legacy will take care of itself.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 20th June 2013, 19:13

      If Kimi gave as many damns as Hamilton, he’d be bothered nobody ever invites him to those lists!

      I wasn’t around for the 80s, early 90s, but to me this entire ‘I’m like Senna’ thing is getting to Lewis’ head. My family actually canceled our subscription to F1 Racing magazine when the 5th (!) Senna/Schumacher article in 4 years came along and honestly, I don’t take websites who actively go with the entire Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton – Senna/Prost/Mansell/Schumacher thing very seriously either. Similar statistics can be fun to see, but the entire ‘fast over one lap = Senna’ level of articles are very tiring.

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