Is the FIA’s test ban for Mercedes a fair penalty?

Debates and Polls

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013The FIA International Tribunal has banned Mercedes from participating in this year’s Young Drivers Test after deciding they broke the rules by testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in May.

Does the punishment fit the transgression? Is it too harsh or too soft? Compare both sides of the argument and cast your vote below.


In its verdict the FIA’s Tribunal made it clear Mercedes did not intend to gain an unfair advantage and said they did not act in “bad faith”.

What’s more the FIA concurred that Mercedes had grounds to believe they had been given permission to do the test.

The FIA also acknowledged it contributed to a misunderstanding on Mercedes’ part about whether they were allowed to test. Reflecting that, the governing body will jointly foot the bill for their investigation, sharing it with Mercedes and Pirelli.

This serves to demonstrate Mercedes were not entirely to blame and did not attempt to cynically exploit the testing rules, and therefore deserve a lenient punishment.


The FIA made it clear Mercedes had gained an advantage from the test, “which, at least potentially, gave it an unfair sporting advantage”.

It also pointed out that the instruction it gave to Mercedes and Pirelli to ensure other teams were informed of the test was not carried out.

Mercedes were found in breach of article 22.4 (h) of the Sporting Regulations which prevents teams from testing with a car that substantially conforms to the current regulations. The benefit of being able to do so with their regular race drivers as opposed to a much less experienced driver appears to have been overlooked by the FIA in choosing to strip Mercedes of their Young Driver Test privileges.

The penalty chosen does not go far enough to rebalance the playing field following the revelation of Mercedes’ clandestine test.

I say

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013The most unsatisfactory detail to have emerged during the deliberations is that a total of three (formerly) secret tests have been conducted by F1 teams for Pirelli since the beginning of last season: two by Ferrari and one by Mercedes, though apparently only the latter involved a current specification car. The lack of transparency surrounding these tests is a cause for concern.

Regarding the Mercedes case it’s clear the FIA recognised their own fault in the communication between themselves, Mercedes and Pirelli which led to the test going ahead. That was clearly used in mitigation of any potential punishment for Mercedes.

One could blame the FIA’s equivocal interpretation of its own rules or Mercedes’ eagerness to covertly log an extra 1,000km with its current cars and race drivers. But the person hardest hit by the verdict is totally blameless: the aspiring F1 racer who’s just lost a chance to get behind the wheel of a W04 at the forthcoming Young Drivers’ Test (in recent years this has been Sam Bird).

What’s more, the effectiveness of Mercedes’ punishment is now contingent on the other teams being able to conduct worthwhile running at the Young Drivers’ Test. If it is disrupted by rain Mercedes’ punishment would be rendered meaningless.

The penalty also leaves Mercedes’ two race drivers, both of which participated in the illegal test, completely untouched. Does the FIA not expect them to understand and adhere to the Sporting Regulations?

Earlier this month Lewis Hamilton described the difficulties he’s experienced getting the W04 to behave the way he wants it to under braking. It’s hard to believe an extra day-and-a-half’s running in the car didn’t help him make progress with that.

I understand why the FIA felt they couldn’t go too far in punishing Mercedes. But at minimum they needed to cancel out what advantage Mercedes gained from the test, and they have fallen well short of that.

It was Mercedes themselves who proposed a ban from the Young Drivers’ Test as a punishment for their transgression. By giving them what they want the FIA have handed down a penalty that is too lenient.

You say

Do you think the FIA’s punishment for Mercedes is fair? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

The FIA's penalty for Mercedes is...

  • Far too harsh (3%)
  • Slightly too harsh (5%)
  • Fair (18%)
  • Slightly too soft (29%)
  • Far too soft (44%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 587

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210 comments on Is the FIA’s test ban for Mercedes a fair penalty?

  1. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 21st June 2013, 18:11

    Unfortunately this sort of thing just illustrates why F1 is closer to the WWE than to a real sport.

    Juventus is a very big club in the world of football, but when they were caught cheating they were severely punished all the same. That’s the difference between football and F1 – the authorities in the latter seem to view it as their job to create as much parity as possible, even if that involves breaking the spirit and/or the letter of their own rules. Will helping out Mercedes add to “the show”? If they believe the answer is yes then that’s what they’ll do, and the rules can go hang.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 18:20

      I think F1 has tried to make the tires too much a part of the show, and their own mandating of said tires as well as everyone’s agreement to the limited amount of testing in F1 these days contributed to Mercedes needing to be asked to help test for better tire solutions. FIA/F1 put Pirelli in the position to blow it with the tires this year, and Mercedes were called on to help. Mercedes imho are the smallest player in this perfect storm and are just part of the show…not there to add to the show any more than any team. I think it is incorrect to say the rules can go hang given the amount and importance of the extenuating circumstances that led to this Pirelli tire test.

      • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 21st June 2013, 18:41

        The FIA and Pirelli could unilaterally change the tyres today if they wished. They could have done so a month ago. They clearly do not share your concern over the tyres.

        Note that there is not the slightest reason for Mercedes to be as secretive as they have been if they were nobly and selflessly ‘helping out” The only extenuating circumstances that led to this “Pirelli tire test” were the FIA’s desire for Mercedes to hurry up and emerge as a serious championship contender. Mercedes now have a several month head-start over everyone else in terms of understanding the 2014 tyres. Unless they’re a good deal more stupid than I think they are they will also have taken samples of the 2014 rubber back to their labs for detailed analysis.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 18:56

          I vehemently disagree. We have already been shown that FIA and Pirelli cannot unilaterally change the tires without the teams’ consent, and consent has not been given by all the teams, and hence the tires they have been on are the tires for the rest of the season. Nor was Pirelli ever going to change the tires so much that they were nothing like that which they sent the teams tire data on last September from which they built this year’s cars.

          I think the privateness of the Pirelli test (it was their test not Mercedes) was for the sake of expediancy, with FIA/Whiting’s ‘permission’ because time was of the urgency and looking for concensus would have resulted in no test at all.

          I think your assumption of Mercedes now being months ahead in terms of understanding the 2014 tires is off base and unfounded, as is your suggestion that they have taken samples back to their lab. They don’t even know if any of the tires they were on are going to be the final product for 2014. I think you are trying way too hard to drum up conspiracy theories.

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 21st June 2013, 19:50

            We have already been shown that FIA and Pirelli cannot unilaterally change the tires without the teams’ consent

            We have been shown nothing of the sort. All we have been shown is that the FIA and Pirelli don’t think the tyres are a big enough problem (or a problem at all) to require then to alter them. But set all that aside – given that the tyres are NOT going to be changed this year, what sense does it make to talk about Mercedes helping Pirelli with the tyres?

            I think your assumption of Mercedes now being months ahead in terms of understanding the 2014 tires is off base and unfounded

            Well. we’re all entitled to our opinions. Mine is that your stubborn dedication to the notion that Mercedes has done absolutely nothing wrong, even in the face of all the evidence and the Tribunals ruling to the contrary, is downright peculiar.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 20:08

            Lol. If the tires were not a big enough problem then Pirelli wouldn’t have sought to do a test with anybody let alone Mercedes, and why then would Hemberey have recently been quoted as saying that the tires they were trying to test in Canada which weather threw a wrench into will not now be used at all since there has been no concensus?

            It makes sense to talk of Mercedes helping Pirelli with the tires, because at the time Pirelli had reason and permission from Whiting if nobody else, to test. You can’t now use hindsight and the fact that new tires will not be introduced this year, to project backwards to support your argument.

            Your stubborn dedication to the conspiracy theory that Pirelli has helped Mercedes advance their Championship run is I find just as peculiar as it makes me wonder, if you think F1 is that corrupt, why you watch.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st June 2013, 18:53

      That’s the difference between football and F1

      I know this is off topic but i can ensure (because i’m also a die hard Juventus fan) to you that in Football it is far more worse than it is in F1
      Back in 2006 Juventus were relegated to Seria B because their General Director Luciano Moggi was found guilty of infringement to the article 1 because (according to the prosecution) he was obtaining favors from Paolo Bergamo who is responsible for choosing the match’s referees
      The decision was made by Guido Rossi (just google the name & you will find which team he is supporting), & in 2010 new evidence shows that many teams especially Inter Milan were doing much dirtier things than Juventus, the prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has found them guilty but said that he cannot act because of the decision made in 2006 (that’s why the Inter Milan fans are called “gli prescritti” by the Juventus fans)
      BTW Inter Milan were caught cheating in 1998 when the brought Recoba with a false passport and nothing happened
      Like i said football and especially the italian football is like a brothel compared to F1

    • James (@jaymz) said on 21st June 2013, 20:31

      + one million Jon

  2. Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 18:11

    The lack of transparency surrounding these tests is a cause for concern.

    I agree and to me it is a result of walking a fine line with these mandated questionable tires in combination with the mandated and agreed-to-by-the-teams lack of testing. A perfect storm happened this year where Pirelli did as they were mandated but under limited testing conditions nobody knew how problematic the tires would be until they raced on them in anger. Hence the quasi permission from the FIA and the need for Pirelli to call upon a team to test. This can easily be avoided several ways in the future.

  3. Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 21st June 2013, 18:12

    Young drivers have a difficult time breaking into F1 as it is without the FIA imposing undeserved punishments on them. A better punishment would have been to exclude Hamilton and Rosberg from several FP1 sessions each – that way the FIA would be ameliorating an advantage gained by using race drivers for the Pirelli test and giving a test driver a chance.

  4. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 21st June 2013, 18:16

    i voted “no opinion” because the entire situation is pathetic. ultimately, a motor sports sanctioning body has once again proven incompetent, and cast doubt on its own integrity, at devising and implementing its own rules. the FIA had opened the door to this foolishness, so it would be wrong to hammer down on any team that walked through it.

    obviously, this situation never would have occurred if there was meaningful testing allowed in the first place. this also reinforces the point that a cost cap is totally unworkable and a resource restriction agreement is marginal at best – if they can’t even regulate cars on a track, how the hell would they control numbers scribbled on paper?

  5. Andy (@turbof1) said on 21st June 2013, 18:16

    The penalty would always have been either too soft or too hard. No matter what you do, you can’t restore the balance anymore. Punish too hard, and you’ll put Mercedes into the disadvantage for an otherwise honest mistake. Punish them too soft, and the other teams will stay with a disadvantage.

    In that regard, this was the best and most honest solution. Let me explain why:
    -The YDT can essentially be driven anytime a team wants it. Look at last year: the test wast spread out over Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Yas Marina. Teams can safely look at the weather and pick the best oppertunity. They can even be present at one of the test, with car ready to roll out and all, and still bail out. The test only starts when the car rolls out of the box. So Keith, the argument about weather really isn’t valid: teams essentially can plan their YDT at the best moment. If they hit bad weather, it’s their fault.
    -The YDT is, except for obliged running test drivers, without any restriction. How much advantage Mercedes got out of it, we don’t know, but it’s a fair assumption they did not run new parts as that would contaminate tyre data. At the YDT however, teams can basicilly run a new car if they want.
    -Mercedes was restricted to 1000km, while at the YDT there is no restriction on the amount of kms. Say you drive 100 laps at Silverstone every day of the test. that’s 5.891km x 100 laps x 3 days=1767,3km total, a whopping +76,79% extra mileage compared to the Pirelli test.

    So missing out on the YDT is a (much) bigger loss then the gains from the Pirelli test. with that in mind, we have to consider that Mercedes will have had the oppertunity to built on the data they have got. Also it would probably have helped their drivers, especially Hamilton, the only advantage other then time the Pirelli test has over the YDT. It’s not possible to measure how much the balance of power has been restored by this, but it does show that loosing out at the YDT is a harsher punishment then it looks like.

    • Simon999 (@simon999) said on 22nd June 2013, 10:20

      Agree with this. Mercedes did some extra running with race drivers where they weren’t in control of setup etc, which is (more or less) balanced out by missing out on the YDT where they don’t use race drivers but can change setup.

      If we believe Merc’s claim that they thought they had been given approval by the FIA, and that the FIA themselves bear responsibility for that, then to say Merc deserved a much harsher punishment isn’t logical.

      This is why I don’t agree with Keith’s conclusion that the punishment fell short of what was required:

      I understand why the FIA felt they couldn’t go too far in punishing Mercedes. But at minimum they needed to cancel out what advantage Mercedes gained from the test, and they have fallen well short of that.

    • Kneyfield said on 23rd June 2013, 9:46

      The YDT is, except for obliged running test drivers, without any restriction.

      A private three day tire test for a tire supplier has its own advantages and I’ll be explaining one such scenario.

      First the disclaimer: yes, the team would not have been able to continue their development program by testing new parts, just as the team would have been ordered by Pirelli to use specific compounds and maybe even a specific length of stints, etc.

      But, running a thousand kilometers with Pirelli in full attendance and completely focused on one team and the tires on the car will likely have its own advantages. Even if these cannot be felt in the immediate aftermath of the test, there are possible long-term implications. As I understood it, the vast majority of tires used in the Mercedes-Pirelli test at Barcelona was about compounds for next year. The one team, which has the greatest issues with tires this year, is suddenly in the enviable position to directly influence next year’s tire development! It’s quite possible, that Mercedes now has some information about next year’s tires (or at least the general direction) due to the compounds used in their test. Information, which they can use in the next six months to improve their tire handling of the 2014 car!

      Who knows, if Mercedes will truly be able to benefit in the long term, but there’s certainly some potential for it having a much greater impact, than the ban from this year’s YDT.

      While I don’t have an issue with the punishment, it could (and maybe should) have been much greater.

  6. AbeyG (@1abe) said on 21st June 2013, 18:19

    But the person hardest hit by the verdict is totally blameless: the aspiring F1 racer who’s just lost a chance to get behind the wheel of a W04 at the forthcoming Young Drivers’ Test (in recent years this has been Sam Bird).

    I have a feeling that Sam Bird(or any driver that Mercedez had planned) will drive for Force India at the YDT.

    • Vic (@hendrix666) said on 21st June 2013, 22:52

      @1abe If Bird is a Mercedes employed/connected driver, how can he test? Isn’t Mercedes banned? I would assume that means any employees too.

      • AbeyG (@1abe) said on 22nd June 2013, 6:14

        @hendrix666 The way i see it, the team is banned to test only its car in the YDT. There is nothing that can prevent Sam Bird to a have a contract with FI jus for the YDT. He selection fits the rule as Keith mentioned below. Anyways, all i am saying is, it could be a possibility and not that it will be.

      • LosD (@losd) said on 22nd June 2013, 6:22

        That would be idiotic. They are just prevented from testing their car.

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 22nd June 2013, 9:18

      @1abe FI’s roster is already filled with the likes of Calado, Daly and possibly, Razia. They might be able to wedge in Bird for a half-day, but that would be little compensation..

  7. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 21st June 2013, 18:21

    I think the punishment is fitting of the crime, given the circumstances. Mercedes won’t have learned that much, and whilst there were benefits, what more could the FIA do, given that it was partially their fault. The only reason for voting ‘Slightly too soft’ is because obviously the drivers, namely Lewis Hamilton will have gained the most out of such running.

    Overall, I hope this is the last we have to hear about this, and that people don’t continue on about whether the punishment was too soft, or whatever as there isn’t much more the FIA could have done. This won’t cause other teams to start going testing in spite, as it would be completely different circumstances. Let’s move on!

  8. Victor. (@victor) said on 21st June 2013, 18:24

    Slightly to soft.

    In short: Mercedes deserved a penalty, but given the intricacies regarding the Pirelli contract/Charlie Whiting’s role/the sporting regulations, Mercedes could not have been judged to simply go ahead and broken the rules. If they did gain an advantage over other teams it was deemed to have been minimal, hence the minimal punishment.

    As to the drivers, they are contracted to the team, so I fail to see how they are relevant in all this. If an employer asks me to do something, I am contractually obliged to do so (unless the Sporting Regulations have a subsection for every particular employee of a team being subject to them separately from the team as a whole).

    On a different note altogether, I read somewhere that Red Bull was found to have gone testing with Pirelli too?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2013, 22:50


      unless the Sporting Regulations have a subsection for every particular employee of a team being subject to them separately from the team as a whole

      The drivers are just as subject to the Sporting Regulations as their teams are. I see no reason why in this case Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton should be exempt from punishment. They were the ones driving the cars.

  9. kowa said on 21st June 2013, 18:25

    another shot in the foot for f1. It’s so political it makes me sick.
    After the past monaco borefest, i had made myself a promise not to visit another gp live for at least a few years. I will go to moto gp instead. This latest fia-sco just confirms that i made the right decision.

  10. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st June 2013, 18:26

    I have found the penalty a little bit strange to be honest because, first it was requested by Mercedes, it was just like ”punish me if you want but don’t cross the lines”, second the whole process was not intended to last 2 days it was intended to last some hours because Mercedes infringement for the rules was clear which the FIA tribunal itself admitted but instead they went into irrelevant details like Pirelli paid the test costs, Ferrari has one with Massa in 2012 (i’m amazed why they waited a whole year to talk about it), double standard FIA with Ferrari blablablablabla ………………….
    For me it was clear that something happened in the last night (& call me a conspiracy theorist) because Mercedes defense was weak & their position was critical they were even asking for penalty but who knows what’s the card the people that their trucks are transporting the structures of the FOM & FOA …..and their cars are used as safety car & medical car
    I have a feeling that Mercedes which contribute with a good slice in Bernie Ecclestone’s paddock was just taken to the FIA tribunal because Red Bull & Ferrari have protested

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 18:43

      I disagree that ‘something happened in the last night.’ I think that FIA, Pirelli, and Mercedes all had a hand in this test, the test was necessary, F1 knew it because the tires are problematic, and yes I also believe that the Tribunal was meant to clear the air but I think most of the players in the Tribunal had a good idea where they stood all along. Brawn was confident from the getgo that they didn’t do anything wrong (at least not nearly to the extent they’ve been accused of)…so…something last night? I don’t think so.

      Three parties are sharing the costs and to me that equates to three parties sharing the blame.

      • ferrox glideh said on 21st June 2013, 19:26

        Poor Sam Bird. If any good is to come of this, the 2014 F1 regulations need to be better defined. Testing by suppliers must follow strict guidelines. The FOM should provide a competitive chassis by mid-season (or sooner), maybe by purchasing it from the leading constructor (a bonus for performing). Then the component suppliers should get Karun Chandok or somebody at FIA to drive it with unlimited testing, guaranteeing optimum safety and performance standards. There are plenty of test pilots with spare time. I also nominate Brundle. Tire testing by F1 teams MUST end if there is only one tire supplier. Great insightful articles by K.C.

      • fjv said on 22nd June 2013, 9:06

        you have said it! they share the blame!

  11. sw280 (@sw280) said on 21st June 2013, 18:30

    The penalty was fair, the fault lies with how watertight the contract the FIA has with Pirelli is. Merc would not have done the test if it was illegal and sought assurances that it was (though it clearly wasn’t from a sporting point of view). Merc have not disgraced themselves as they pushed the regulations to gain any advantage, though technical gains from the test will have been limited. People say things are not in the spirit of the regulations seem to forget that the spirit of F1 is and should be to push the regulations as far as they go. The FIA, for once, have not disgraced themselves they tried a team despite one of their officials giving the team permission to test and applied a judgement based on their own rulebook.

  12. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 21st June 2013, 18:31


    You make some great points and you’re absolutely right about 2 things you mentioned:

    1. The fact that 3 tests took place, 2 by Ferrari and 1 by Mercedes in secret is a big concern. The fact that Pirelli managed to conceal it for a whole year in a sport where there is so much spotlight from the press is very alarming.
    2. The aspiring F1 driver who will not be joining the Young Drivers’ Test behind the W04 – as if it wasn’t already hard enough to get a seat in F1…

    The other things I would add:
    1. Ferrari’s very unsportsmanlike behavior in protesting against Mercedes which is very undeserving of such a legendary staple. I have lost ALL respect for DiMontezemolo and Domenicali. If they were standing around me, I would reach into my pocket to check if my wallet is still there.
    2. The FIA’s willingness to exonerate Ferrari which confirms the existence of a double-standard in F1. I would like to find out if Ferrari will have a tribunal of its own now that the 2nd transgression has surfaced.

    • Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 21st June 2013, 19:04

      LOL! Rules have not been breeched by Ferrari, Michael. Just stop with this hilarious, childish assumption that Ferrari has favours from the judges. If they used a 2013 cars, they would have received the same punishment. Spare us, please

      • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 21st June 2013, 19:49

        So your only gripe is the fact that Mercedes used the current car with next year’s tyres?

        Don’t the rules preclude last year’s and the subsequent car?

        The secrecy does not matter, nor does the fact that Ferrari’s test wasn’t just a tyre test, or
        that they did it across 2 seasons, or that they were automatically exonerated or the simple fact that Ferrari attacked Mercedes while they have committed the same offense twice with impunity? Details, right?:-)

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 21st June 2013, 22:20

        The proposition that a two-year old car, built to the same formula as current cars, run with current tires, is not a substantive advantage, is simply laughable. Espeically when there is an in-season testing ban. Ferrari’s attempt to perch on this narrow formalistic point was a cunning stunt. And, how may secret tests with a two-year old car equals a test with a current car? Infinitiy? Why don’t we let them pound around their test track 7 days a week with this terrible rusty old 2011 car then? The distinction Ferrari wants to make here is untenable. It’s a matter of degree, at best. And the issue of degree is made moot by Ferrari’s repetition.

  13. I have a somewhat stupid question.Can teams run the YDT with their racing drivers?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2013, 19:11


      Not according to the rules, which states teams may perform:

      One three day young driver training test carried out on a date and site approved by the FIA following consultation with all teams. No driver who has competed in more than two F1 World Championship races may take part in this test and all drivers must be in possession of an International A Licence.

      But who knows, maybe another team will get an email from Charlie Whiting excusing them from that rule and we can go through all this nonsense again…

  14. There were 3 and the rest have shut their mouths. How can you trust these teams without any real scrutiny.

  15. caci99 (@caci99) said on 21st June 2013, 18:37

    Not fair at all. And I don’t believe for a second that Mercedes genuinely fell fool of misunderstanding communications. What are these guys? Six years old kids on their first year at school? It’s like if I work every day at a gas distribution station and I know I can not smoke, but one day I decide to ask the person in charge if I can smoke, he says: yes, go ahead, and there I go!
    The punishment was given because they were clearly guilty, but at the same time they were handed such a light punishment (which ridiculously they proposed themselves), which at the end does no harm at all. They have gained three days of testing, in the middle of the championship, with their grid drivers, against three days lost later on in the season with young drivers. Whats more, they even received an email at least from Pirelli after the test, which very probably contains data from the test.
    Well, well done to Pirelli, Mercedes and FIA.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 18:47

      I disagree completely and think you are way way off base with your unfounded suggestion that Pirelli sent Mercedes an email containing data from the test. Answer me this if that’s what you are convinced of…what would Pirelli have to gain by risking helping Mercedes advance their Championship run this year? I’ve been asking it for 2 or 3 weeks and nobody has yet provided me an answer.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 19:12

          So this timeline and this alleged email that none of us has seen is proof to you that it must have contained data? I would suggest it could have just as easily have said ‘thanks for the help.’ How come nothing about this email has been mentioned in the Tribunal findings? Sorry I just don’t buy the conspiracy theory that Pirelli would risk everything to help advance Mercedes with a one-off test that would never turn any team into WDC winners overnight.

      • Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 21st June 2013, 19:00

        Robbie, Mercedes produces 100s of thousands of cars per year. Every car uses minimum 4 tires per car plus the spare. Let’s not count the trucks and similar. Do you think they both invest in F1 for passion? hell no, it’s BUSINESS and F1 is ONLY MARKETING. Hence there might be a GIGANTIC commercial interest for both parties, applied to consumption of tires for road cars… Pirelli make an investment because they believe they will have a RETURN (ROI). Period

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 19:21

          @nuvolari71 That there ‘might’ be gigantic commercial interests in your opinion does not convince me of this conspiracy theory. The risks of running this tire test obviously contained enough volatility on it’s own with quasi permission from the FIA let alone the massive negative consequences to both Pirelli and Mercedes if they were found out to have been doing something underhanded, so I don’t buy what you are trying to sell.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2013, 19:12


        unfounded suggestion that Pirelli sent Mercedes an email containing data from the test.

        There’s nothing “unfounded” about it: that was disclosed in the tribunal report and is mentioned here.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 19:17

          @keithcollantine I see it in the timeline but wasn’t aware that it was disclosed in the tribunal report. What did the email say then?

          • caci99 (@caci99) said on 21st June 2013, 19:29

            @robbie I used the word “very probably”, I didn’t say “definitely” the email contains data. So, I don’t know the email contents. And this leads to what I believe the email says and, on the other hand, what you believe. So you believe that the email says “thank you”, because they didn’t had time while leaving Barcelona to thank each other but they needed it by email. Or maybe you believe that the email was about taking a ride at some track in Bavaria with the new mountain bike Hembery had just bought.
            Instead, I do believe it contained info about the test. Even Rosberg did “for sure” new what tires he was using.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st June 2013, 19:46

            I don’t believe the alleged email said ‘thank you’ either, but it might as well have unless someone can produce the email so that we will all know. I just don’t see what Pirelli would gain by helping any one team since everyone is on their tires and there is no team out there on a competing tire maker’s tires. I just don’t believe Pirelli is that underhanded nor that motivated to get themselves into that much hot water for no gain but only tons in terms of reputation and trust to lose.

          • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 21st June 2013, 22:56

            It was labeled secret and apparently had some data but the FIA statement goes on to say the data would have been of little to no real value to Mercedes

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