FIA verdict on Mercedes-Pirelli test due today

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013In the round-up: The FIA is expected to give its verdict on the hearing on whether Mercedes’ test at the Circuit de Catalunya prior to the Monaco Grand Prix broke the rules.

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Mercedes say FIA treating Ferrari differently over ‘secret’ tyre tests (The Guardian)

Paul Harris (lawyer representing Mercedes): “Ferrari was even more involved in the actual testing than we were, they booked and paid for the circuit. They are not criticised.”

Mercedes challenges Ferrari’s tyre test (Autosport)

“Mercedes also revealed that Ferrari had another testing opportunity in 2012 with Pirelli, when Felipe Massa was used in its pre-Spanish Grand Prix test and that the team conducted more than 1,000 kilometres.”

Update: The above quote has been altered in the original article since the round-up was published. See the link above for the amended quote. Thanks to @wsrgo for the tip.

Mercedes accuse FIA of Ferrari test hypocrisy (The Telegraph)

“Mercedes said they regretted the fact that their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, wore anonymous black helmets when driving at the test. They said that they did so in order to minimise the need for security. ‘We acknowledge this aspect was bound to raise suspicion and this is regrettable,’ Harris said.”

FIA tyre hearing sees Mercedes blame Pirelli for tests (The Independent)

“Mark Howard QC, speaking first on behalf of the FIA as the body’s legal representative, said [FIA race director Charlie] Whiting’s consent was ‘irrelevant’. Howard said that Whiting was not authorised to amend Article 22 of the Sporting Regulations, saying such a move could only be undertaken by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.”

Mercedes willing to forego young driver test (Reuters)

Harris: “If… we are in this sort of territory then it is open to the International Tribunal to impose exclusions actual or suspended from events that are under the FIA jurisdiction such as the young driver test.”

Verdict awaited after Mercedes hearing (MotorSport)

“Ross Brawn was adamant initially that Mercedes gained no benefit from the test and that Pirelli had not told the team what tyres it was running, although under question he conceded that inevitably there was some benefit.”

Lauda tried to avoid tribunal (ESPN)

“Red Bull lodged the protest against us with Ferrari, agreed an out-of-court deal with Bernie Ecclestone and to make it happen it needed a letter from Mercedes to FIA boss [Jean] Todt. But our bosses Toto Wolff and Ross Brawn refused. Now they have to live with it.”

Christian Horner Q&A (Sky)

“It’s for the Tribunal to decide, it’s not for us to comment on what the penalties should be, but normally if you commit a sporting offence then it is a sporting penalty which goes with it.”

Mercedes did not get test permission – FIA (BBC)

“Pirelli’s counsel Dominique Dumas argued that as a supplier the company was not subject to the FIA’s authority or jurisdiction.”

Byron Young on Mercedes and tyregate (The Mirror)

“Stripping the team of its Monte Carlo victory could be a step too far and see the car giant walk away from F1 if its reputation is tarnished.”

First day on the virtual track for Massa (Ferrari)

“For Felipe Massa, the time has come to get back into the cockpit of a Formula 1 car, even if in this case it?s only a virtual one: a lot of hours in the simulator and a long time talking to his engineers to analyse the data from the last few races was on the Brazilian?s agenda, starting this morning in Maranello.”

No place in the F1 community for fans who boo or hate drivers (Motorsport Reports)

“The lack of respect for [Sebastian] Vettel (especially) and other drivers is just shocking. Every fan base will always have a few idiots, but in the last few years, more F1 fans have turned into those football fans who say the most vile things as shown above.”

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Comment of the day

The Pirelli angle to the FIA International Tribunal is a cause of concern for @MazdaChris:

It absolutely beggars belief that F1 would find itself in this situation. I know that people seem to think that Ecclestone is an omnipotent puppet master, always in control of the situation, but it?s hard to see how this situation is anything but a disaster: FIA having a massive falling out with the only company who could conceivably supply tyres for next year, and it’s just becoming more and more bitter.

With Pirelli citing the Briatore case they?re sending a clear message ?ǣ mess with us and we’ll take you to court. Hardly conducive to ongoing contract negotiations.

Thing I also find interesting is that Pirelli seem to be exclusively interested in saying that they can do what they want and it?s none of the business of the FIA. I think if Mercedes were hoping for Pirelli to come in and defend them, then they?re sorely mistaken.
@MazdaChris

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Alberto Ascari won the Belgian Grand Prix 60 years ago today, as he had also done the year before. What’s more, he’d also won every intervening world championship race (bar the Indianapolis 500, which he did not enter), setting a record of nine consecutive F1 wins that remains unbroken.

It was a one-two for Ferrari at Spa with Luigi Villoresi finishing second ahead of Onofre Marimon’s Maserati.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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139 comments on FIA verdict on Mercedes-Pirelli test due today

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 21st June 2013, 0:57

    Meanwhile, I agree it’s wrong to boo drivers, even if it is Vettel. I do not particularly like him, but I at least respect his commitment and the majority of his actions on the track. He’s a very, very good racing driver, and it’s a shame for some fans to act like this.

    But that is sport at the end of the day, a driver loved in one part of the world will be loathed in another. Thankfully the majority (hopefully) respect Vettel’s achievements and do not take part in booing drivers who put their lives at risk every time they step foot in a racing car.

    • MartyF1 said on 21st June 2013, 1:12

      Yeah and at the end of the day… Being booed is not the end of the world, and if enough people are doing it to be heard, then clearly the general public is feeling a desire to voice their displeasure. Is that the crowds fault for wanting to be heard, or is it Vettels fault for actions that might encourage boos. Either way everyone needs to just harden up.

      • Metallion (@metallion) said on 21st June 2013, 1:22

        What did Vettel do at the Canadian GP though to deserve to be booed at? When Barrichello gave the victory to Schumacher at the end of that notorious race some years ago, I can easily understand displeasure and booing, but not in this case. And I’m no Vettel fan, I’d prefer any other driver on the grid to win the championship.

        • The Monza tifosi would throw rocks at Alain Prost back in the day. Now, that’s WRONG!

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2013, 5:29

          Maybe it’s the first opportunity the Canadians had to let SV know what they think of greedy people who renege on agreements when it suits them!

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 21st June 2013, 5:56

            @hohum Given that he had saved more fuel, and had an extra set of medium tyres, it was hardly “greedy” to race to the end of a motor race.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 8:13

            Still it would have been better to let that be known by cheeky banners than booing during the podium ceremony I think @hohum

          • Mads (@mads) said on 21st June 2013, 12:12

            @hohum
            Except of cause for the fact that there was no agreement.
            A racing driver races to win. That isn’t being greedy, it’s just what they do. If they didn’t, F1 and racing in general would be pointless.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 21st June 2013, 12:41

            @mads Can you please shed some light on multi 2-1 then?

          • Mads (@mads) said on 21st June 2013, 12:52

            @seahorse
            A code to hold position car 2 ahead of car 1.
            It was an order. Not a gentlemens agreement between the drivers as some people seem to beelieve.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd June 2013, 3:02

            I don’t want to promote this kind of behaviour, nor do I want to argue the point but it seems to me that when you race for a team and you and you take advantage of a situation where the team believes you are acting in good faith,then by not acting in good faith you have broken an agreement, and remember in entertainment-sport (W.C.Wrestling etc.) the baddie brings as many viewers to boo as the goodie brings viewers to cheer, and that’s the way F1 is going. @bascb, @seahorse.@mads,@david-a

  2. Daniel2 said on 21st June 2013, 1:04

    I’m of the opinion, that Mercedes has taken to sling mud on Ferrari in an attempt to take the heat away from themselves. While that may work for their fans and some other part of the (uninformed) public, it should have relatively little impact on the upcoming decision of the tribunal.

    Why? Because there’s not one word about the participation of active Formula 1 drivers (like the accused Felipe Massa) in tests anywhere in the current regulations.

    That’s out then and leaves Ferrari’s use of a two-year old car as the only credible part of Mercedes’ criticism of the Italian team’s testing practices.

    But, if that is really all of it, then Mercedes are the worst hypocrites possible.

    1.) The use of a two-year old car does not explicitly fall under Formula 1 testing regulations, which means, that any track time with such a car would not be regulated by the FIA at all. Meaning, that it wouldn’t matter, if Ferrari had paid the track, etc. Up until yesterday, nobody had doubts about the unlimited use of said two-year old cars, so why does Mercedes now come up with that? Instead of using this as a last-resort defense, they should have done what Red Bull has, as soon as they gained knowledge of it. They never did file a complaint and Ferrari certainly aren’t the only ones who used a two-year old car in the past.

    2.) Pirelli had been developing the 2013 tires during the 2012 season in the Lotus 2010 car, after all. Nobody saw any problems with that, even under the full knowledge, that the car would be maintained by the show car crew of Lotus F1. Am I the only one who finds it a tad strange, that Mercedes now wish to slam Ferrari for something, Lotus has been doing with the full knowledge and acceptance of all participating teams?

    The only thing left to mention is the secrecy of the test. Mercedes hasn’t mentioned it of course (being guilty of that themselves), but it now looks like Pirelli didn’t follow its own transparency rules as clearly as we all thought. The tire manufacturer usually invites one observer per F1 team to their on-track testing. That obviously didn’t happen for the Mercedes test in Barcelona, just as it hasn’t for the two earlier Ferrari tests Mercedes is complaining about.

    It comes down to this: If Mercedes counted on Pirelli’s help to prove, that their test was all above board, they’ll have been disappointed after this hearing. Ignoring the implications of one email from a FIA lawyer, the German team didn’t do anything but show, that Ferrari must have been equally guilty as they are. Seeing as Ferrari hasn’t been accused at the tribunal, they don’t argue their innocence, but for a mild penalty, if any.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 8:24

      1.) The use of a two-year old car does not explicitly fall under Formula 1 testing regulations, which means, that any track time with such a car would not be regulated by the FIA at all.

      The trouble with that assessment is, its only its not explicitly forbidden, but there is nothing in the rules that specifically mentions a 2 year old car is perfectly fine. Its more a general understanding that this is the case (the rules mention “car does not confirm substantially” with the regulations, which is far from cast in stone).

      What Mercedes are doing is telling the FIA that they are not treating all teams equal when they are completely satisfied everything is ok with the Ferrari test, but put them on trial for doing something very similar.

      • Daniel2 said on 21st June 2013, 8:52

        @bascb : In my humble opinion, while the general rules for the 2010 to 2013 cars are mostly the same, there are significant performance cuts due to the removal of double-diffusors beginning with the 2011 season and the amended throttle/exhaust rules as well as a new limit on nose-height in 2012. This sounds a lot like a significant change to me, because in both 2011 and 2012, the whole aero design of the car needed a vast redesign.

        Still, I understand your point, but I don’t believe, that the team is on the right track with it. The issue of using a 2011 car being the same as the use of a 2013 car is merely Mercedes’ opinion, which does not seem to be shared by other teams or the FIA. We would’ve already seen a protest from another team, if the use of the 2010 car during the 2012 season or the 2011 car in this season had been an issue (Ferrari is hardly the only team doing a private test, but only they seemed to provide their old car to Pirelli in addition to the Lotus show car), while the FIA would have put Ferrari alongside Mercedes in this tribunal.

        • tvm (@) said on 21st June 2013, 10:22

          The rules are clear, the car used for team testing in this season, 2013, must not substantially confirm to either 2013 nor 2012 specifications.

          So you are not only comparing the car to this years but also last years model.

          If a 2011 car is deemed as not substantially confirming to 2012 spec, then they might as well remove the clause altogether as it would be meaningless, the differences can hardly be smaller.

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 21st June 2013, 9:14

      Care to “inform” us what Ferrari-Pirelli test consist of; how many tests there were; was the data used to create tyres, based on Ferrari’s car; was the data shared with the rest of the teams in any way, shape or form?

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2013, 1:26

    Andrew Benson did some typically poor and limited analysis today, following Mercedes’ claim that the 2013 cars are only 0.5 seconds slower than in 2011. He gave examples of why that was incorrect by stating that Mercedes are 1.7 seconds faster and Ferrari are 0.75 seconds faster. But this is useless, as both these teams have had greater improvements relative to the rest of the field than many other teams, and that isn’t necessarily indicative of general pace improvements- for example, the typical pacesetters of the last few seasons (Red Bull) have improved by pretty much nothing, and the actual fastest laps from each race (rather than the fastest lap for a specific team) were indeed 0.5 seconds apart.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2013, 5:33

      Lies, d@m lies and statistics.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 21st June 2013, 7:33

      I don’t think that the speed of a car alone proves anything. If the same speed gets reached with other means (for instance, exhaust blown diffusers are now forbidden but teams actively exploit double DRS), then one could argue that the old car isn’t ‘substantially conforming’ to current rules.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st June 2013, 10:13

        +1
        I have made a quick look at the 2013/2004 times & i have found that the times were pretty close even though the 2004 cars doesn’t have anything similar with the current cars

        Monaco GP pole 2013 1 min 13 s 876
        Monaco GP pole 2004 1 min 13 s 985

        China GP pole 2013 1 min 34 s 484.
        China GP pole 2004 1 min 34 s 012

        The other times were not relevant due to the difference in weather conditions (Canada, Australia, Malaysia) & in the circuits layouts (Barcelona & Bahrain)

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2013, 12:29

        @girts I don’t disagree- my issue was that Benson tried to disapprove the statement by applying statistics in the worst way. Had he done a more thorough analysis of times or just countered with the same statement you made then I’d have no problem. The issue was that he simply said ‘no’, showed a couple of irrelevant times and moved on.

  4. Today the protagonists, as they have been since the beginning, were only attempting to obscure the facts but the FIA will see right through that. Mercedes gained an illegal advantage. Case closed. The statements from the tribunal in Paris all but confirmed that, with everyone in hard damage limitation mode. The only questions that remain to be answered are what the penalties will be.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2013, 5:19

      So, why didn’t the FIA just ask you what to do instead of going through the expensive public spectacle of a tribunal hearing. You insist Mercedes gained an unfair advantage illegally, but you have no way of proving it, or how great that advantage was (assuming there was one). So maybe that expensive public spectacle was necessary after all. Especially when the alternative is asking someone to make a snap judgement based on a headline.

  5. obviously said on 21st June 2013, 2:00

    Obviously, whoever bases their case on the lap time itself is not a very sharp F1 lawyer. You can perhaps get a 2004 car and have it do a similar lap time to a 2009 car for example. I didn’t check the times itself, but over the last 10 years there has been a overall trend of trying to slow the cars down, so it’s quite likely that times haven’t improved by much in the last 10 years, let alone in a span of just two years. But 2011 cars had EBDs, which is quite a difference, plus a nose height and quite importantly, different structure of the tyres, so it’s not surprising that 2013 cars haven’t been able to move far from that in terms of pure lap time.

  6. schooner (@schooner) said on 21st June 2013, 2:38

    An unlikely scenario, hopefully, but what if Mercedes were to get some enormous fine, possibly even an exclusion from this years championship points, and the directors decided to simply pull the plug on their F1 works team? Presumably Merc would carry on developing the new motor, and meet their contractual obligations as a supplier. Hard to imagine also that the team itself would disappear. There would surely be a buyer for such a high level organization. As far as Lewis and Nico are concerned, I’m not too worried about them either. Their contracts would be honored, and a couple of top seats would no doubt be made available to them both. Perhaps Red Bull and Lotus respectively? Anyway, I doubt this will come to pass, but tomorrow’s verdict and the various reactions will be interesting for sure.

  7. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 21st June 2013, 3:57

    @keithcollantine

    “Mercedes also revealed that Ferrari had another testing opportunity in 2012 with Pirelli, when Felipe Massa was used in its pre-Spanish Grand Prix test and that the team conducted more than 1,000 kilometres.”

    This is what you quoted.
    And here’s Autosport’s quote: “Mercedes revealed that Ferrari had another testing opportunity in 2012. It also said that Felipe Massa was used in a pre-2013 Spanish Grand Prix test and that Ferrari conducted more than 1000 kilometres.”
    Big mistake on the quoting, Keith. It’s pre-2013 Spanish GP, not pre-Spanish GP.

    Apart from that, I can’t see how Ferrari did a 1000km plus test in 2012, before Spain. They already had a three-day Mugello test that year, and I think we can put five days aside for that for all the logistic reasons. And a 1000km plus test with just one driver (Massa) would take around five-six days, with a total of seven-eight days for logistic purposes set aside for this test. That’s nearly a fortnight. So Ferrari used two-thirds of their time b/w the Bahrain and Spanish GPs to do track tests?
    Nice try, Merc.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2013, 5:14

      Why would it take Ferrari two weeks to carry out a thousand kilometres of testing when Mercedes did the same thing in less than one week? Teams regularly cover a thousand kilometers a week during pre-season testing, and they’re limited to one driver at a time then, too …

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 8:30

      a 1000 km plus test is about 3 days, they do up to 350 km a day in testing, and as this was put in the discussion as fact, I think we can safely accept that the running took place @wsrgo.

      Your extrapolation from 5 days (its only 3, but ok) towards 7-8 and round that up as a fortnight is very “generous” but not really accurate. If they did 3 days of track running, they probably spend 4-5 days at the track. Not that hard to do. And given that Ferrari has the Corse clienti crew to run these outings, its no burden on the race team (apart from the driver, but 3 days is not that much).

      There were 2 tests. One in 2012 where it seems they ran MAssa, and one in 2013 between Bahrain and Spain where they ran over 1000 km and used Pedro DL Rosa (and possibly Massa, that is not clear). Both of those tests were run with 2 year old cars and operated by the Ferrai Corse Clienti crew.

      • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 21st June 2013, 8:49

        @bascb Yeah sorry I mixed up kms. with laps.

        and one in 2013 between Bahrain and Spain where they ran over 1000 km and used Pedro DL Rosa (and possibly Massa, that is not clear).

        Wherever did you hear that?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 10:41

          The fact that Ferrari also did a test this year came out during the Monaco weekend already. As for the drivers, there seems to be a degree of uncertainty whether they ran Massa in that test (apart from confirmed Pedro dlR) @wsrgo

          • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 22nd June 2013, 3:29

            @bascb Uncertainty? What uncertainty? Can you give me a link, please?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd June 2013, 12:28

            Uncertainty because the various sources we have claimed different things @wsrgo, although it seems that by now all of them have come to the conclusion that Massa was only driving in 2012.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2013, 9:00

      @wsrgo Thanks for letting me know. The extract from Autosport used above was quoted verbatim when the round-up was written. It looks like they’ve subsequently altered their article. I’ll put a note to that effect in the round-up.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2013, 12:18

      Sorry, but your argument still holds no weight. Ferrari were quite capable of carrying out two separate tests in that time.

  8. stert said on 21st June 2013, 3:59

    They don’t call Ross a genius for nothing ;-)

  9. karter22 (@karter22) said on 21st June 2013, 4:12

    It´s funny nobody has mentioned Lauda´s apeal to settle out of the tribunal! Ding, Ding, Ding!!! Guilty!! Most of the times, only people who know that they have done wrong settle out of court! Case that comes to mind is Michael Jackson settling out of court to avoid his dirty laundry and pedophilic ways coming out to light! I know there are more cases but that one just sprung to mind.
    What we have here is just a case of people hard in the head sticking to their belief that they did nothing wrong. It´s sad, I thought Brawn was a little bit more intelligent than that.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2013, 5:09

      A willingness to settle out of court does not prove guilt. Especially when Mercedes were the ones approached with the offer to settle, rather than going to the others with an offer prepared. That Mercedes were approached by the others suggests that they had a strong case. Why do you think they suggested sitting out the Young Driver Tests in exchange for admitting they broke the rules, which is a pretty light punishment. It’s because they knew the other teams wanted this to go away before Mercedes had the opportunity to embarras them before the tribunal.

      That doesn’t sound like guilt to me.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st June 2013, 7:00

      @karter22

      Not necessarily. If you want to avoid reputational damage, you might want to have a case buried as soon as possible even if you have done nothing wrong. This is because every day the media reports about a case, the accused is connected with something bad/illegal/immoral, etc. Being right in the end might not always reverse these negative connections.

      This is especially true for F1 teams such as Mercedes, Red Bull, etc that use F1 as a means to promote their brand. It is different for teams like McLaren, which essentially are only an F1 team. On the other hand, they also require a positive image in order to attract sponsors.

      • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 21st June 2013, 7:17

        @mike-dee @karter22 What puzzles me is why they tried to settle it out of the tribunal with an F1 team than with FIA, since essentially they had broken a rule mandated by FIA than an agreement with RBR

        • Daniel2 said on 21st June 2013, 7:36

          @SeaHorse possibly because the need for a tribunal hearing would go away, if the team, which actually started the whole thing (Red Bull) withdrew their official complaint.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 8:31

            That is my best guess as well Daniel2.

            Although I have seen it reported as a settlement with the FIA as well, where the complaining parties had to also agree to it.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 21st June 2013, 10:52

            @Daniel2 maybe they could have aimed for that. I do not know entirely how procedures of the International Tribunal, but in some appeal and hearing procedures the appellant withdrawing their complaint has no effect once the judiciary takes cognizance of the offence. But who knows that may not be the case with FIA’s IT as @bascb states.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2013, 5:02

    Last night, I made the decision not to follow the tribunal hearing too closely. This was in part inspired by the way I had to mark test papers for Year 10, but mostly because I was struck by a most curious thought. In this day and age of instant access to information, all it takes is one leaked report to turn the tide if public opinion, something that I think a few people involved in this have chosen to exploit to their advantage. Sitting on the train this morning and absorbing the proceedings after the fact (to the point where I nearly missed my stop), it occurred to me just how little we actually knew about the test, and how much of what we actually knew was perhaps tainted, however faintly, by an ulterior motive. I have to applaud Mercedes for the way they have handled the spotlight, choosing to wait until the tribunal hearing too explain themselves, rather than taking the bait offered by others and falling into a trial by media.

    With so much of public opinion shaped by the information posted on the internet, I wonder how Mercedes would have been perceived for doing the test twenty years ago …

  11. Gene (@gene) said on 21st June 2013, 5:33

    Just my opinion but when tens to hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake there is no place for the “spirit of the rules,” that’s for little league. I see no difference between what Merc did and what Newey and others did and do by pushing the boundries of the rules be it Tech or Sporting. If you get caught, pay up. If not, good for you…then the rules get revised.

  12. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 21st June 2013, 7:18

    The point of penalties is twofold:

    1) To reverse any advantage gained by breaking the rules;
    2) To deter others from committing the same offence.

    By arguing for a ban from the young driver test, for instance, Mercedes have perhaps acknowledged 1) but failed to take into account 2). All that would do is establish a trade-off whereby teams can test mid-season in exchange for sacrificing the place at the young driver test. Similarly, a mere fine for Mercedes would just set a going rate for testing outside of the rules.

    I suspect Mercedes will be found guilty, and I hope that the penalty will be robust enough to achieve both of the objectives above. I don’t see any logic for penalising Pirelli: as a tyre supplier, they are not a team and hence are not bound by the Sporting Regulations.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 21st June 2013, 7:27

      @red-andy Perhaps their logic for giving up YDT as a trade off for the secret test arises from the fact that teams have agreed to bring back in-season testing and eliminating young driver test from next season onwards (or at least for the next season). But with an established team of drivers in their lineup, the adverse effect of not having an YDT is nigh to nothing for Merc.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2013, 8:36

      Giving up the YDT really is no punishment, except a token punishment to save the FIA from complete embarrassment for filing an unfunded case (from Mercedes point of view).

      I fully agree that its not a penalty that fills either target of a penalty you mention. I certainly hope the Tribunal does not go for that one.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2013, 8:56

      I thought it was an odd move for Mercedes to suggest what penalties might be appropriate, for two reasons.

      First, it could be taken as a tacit acknowledgement by Mercedes of their guilt.

      Second, it could affect what judgement they ultimately receive. The FIA may prefer not to hand down a punishment suggested by Mercedes as it might look like it was giving them what they want.

      At any rate I think banning them from the Young Drivers’ Test would be too weak a punishment for the obvious reason that Mercedes used their race drivers at their test while their rivals would be unable to do that at the Young Drivers’ Test.

  13. JCost (@jcost) said on 21st June 2013, 7:30

    It’s my mom’s birthday too!

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 21st June 2013, 7:47

    From the booing article:

    People who say these things are not F1 fans and should be ashamed of themselves. You will never be welcome in the F1 community.

    The pure form of Formula 1 for me is the best drivers in the world trying to earn respect from the audience and the other drivers by driving the best they can. Sebastian Vettel won the Canadian Grand Prix fair and square, there is simply no doubt he deserved to win the Grand Prix, as was reflected by the DOTW results. If you cannot respect that, it really begs the question: why the hell are you watching F1 then?

    In recent years, the ‘hooligan’ behavior has started to make its appearance on several F1 forums as well: fans of one driver insulting another fans’ favorite driver. In my opinion, a ‘true’ F1 fan can at least separate his support for one driver (there’s nothing wrong with that of course) from resentment towards other drivers.

    I will admit, I don’t like certain drivers myself: I don’t really like Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen as a person, but as far as driving is concerned there is no doubt they are among the best drivers in Formula 1 today. I do respect these drivers for what they have achieved in Formula 1 over the years and as such I’m not even slightly tempted to compare these drivers to the awful things mentioned in the article.

    I’m just happy there are still a lot of ‘true’ F1 fans: the majority of people posting on F1F for instance seem to have really balanced views which are very interesting to read. But also the more quiet people who just switch on the television come Sunday and expect to be impressed by the display of driving skills. And that’s what it’s all about.

  15. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 21st June 2013, 7:59

    Meanwhile the world (which is mainly not even slightly interested in motor racing) looks on with incredulity at the mess that F1 has got itself into.
    This situation is no better than tabloid revelations about which footballer did what with whose wife/girlfriend/mother/lover and who did it first.
    If finding sponsors for top-level motorsport was difficult before, it’s going to be even more elusive after this.

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