Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013

Red Bull ‘considering Young Drivers’ Test boycott’

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull have threatened to hold their own test instead of appearing at the Young Drivers’ Test following the outcome of last week’s FIA Tribunal.


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Red Bull may put FIA to test (The Times, subscription required)

“Red Bull executives are considering boycotting the young drivers’ test to set up their own private session in a mirror of the Mercedes case. A private test would breach the FIA rule book but Red Bull are said to have told [Bernie] Ecclestone that they would take the risk of a reprimand – the punishment meted out to Mercedes – for the benefit of three days of testing.”

Maldonado says FW35 suits Bottas better (Autosport)

“We have different driving styles, he drives very gently and is very smooth with the car – this is not my way. My way is to put energy into the car and that is how I was very quick last year.”

Pirelli bringing experimental hard tyre to Silverstone again (NBC)

“Pirelli will bring their prototype new hard tyre for teams to use in practice for this weekend?s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.”

New F1 Side Impact System (FIA Institute)

“The current side impact system deploys crushable tube structures attached to the side of the chassis. Although extremely effective during normal impacts, they can break off during oblique impacts due to the extremely high tangential forces that are generated during the first few milliseconds of an impact. So Mellor engaged with the F1 teams to help develop solutions to the problem. Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull Racing each stepped forward.”

‘British GP win the ultimate’ (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “Silverstone is just one of the greatest races of the year because it is your home grand prix, where you grew up and have all your home fans, it’s definitely by far the ultimate race of the year and when you win here it’s almost like winning the championship.”

Rookie diary – Caterham?s Giedo van der Garde (F1)

“In terms of my transition to F1, I wouldn?t say I?m pleased as there?s still a lot more to come, from me and the car, but so far I?m happy with how I?m adapting to the step up to F1. I think if I hadn?t had the time with the team last year it would all be a lot more challenging, but I spent enough time with the team at races and the factory in 2012 to have had an idea of what was to come, and I think that?s made the transition to F1 easier than it may have been coming in cold.”

Rookie Max Chilton eyes a Silver lining at British GP (The Sun)

“My absolute goal for Marussia this year is to get the first point for the team. It would be fantastic to achieve that.”


Comment of the day

Rule-bending ain’t what it used to be, says William Katz:

It?s undeniable that the history of Formula 1 is one of those who push the boundaries of the regulations. It?s just a shame that this regulation pushing was more of a courtroom drama and less of an on-track development.

It?s one thing to build a car that can dump it?s liquid-cooled brake reservoirs, it?s entirely another to scamper off in to the shadows to run a tire test. I?m fine with the former, the latter is uninteresting.
William Katz (@Hwkii)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

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

However we can wish a happy birthday to Patrick Tambay, who is 64 today.

After driving for Surtees and Theodore in 1977, Tambay had the misfortune to join McLaren as they were heading into their late-seventies decline. He scored a handful of points in 1978 but the following season was a disaster.

Following a year away Tambay endured a difficult 1981 with Theodore and Ligier. That might have been it for him in F1 but the following year he was called up by Ferrari to replace Gilles Villeneuve aftter he was killed.

Tambay spent a year and a half with the team, winning twice, but was unable to recapture the high with Renault or Haas and retired at the end of 1986.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

96 comments on “Red Bull ‘considering Young Drivers’ Test boycott’”

  1. There is NO way the Championship leading team will be the first to test the water following the Mercedes ruling.

    1. test the water

      Pardon the pun. :D

    2. You are right, Marko already said it wasn´t true

      Marko, though, has denied the claims telling Germany’s Sport Bild: “We of course do not commit a breach of rules.”

      He added: “At the Young Drivers’ Test you can barely try something as the drivers behind the wheel have a lot to learn about Formula One. Mercedes, however, have had three days [of testing] with their regular drivers. Even the judges stated that the team had an ‘unfair sporting advantage’.”

      So I don´t think is true…

      1. I also read he reacted to the times story (link to original Bild article) saying

        “It was purely sarcastic,” he insisted. ”I wanted to demonstrate that, with such a judgement (of the international tribunal), it might be worth the risk.

        On the other hand I really do think that (again) he dramatizes the advantages gained for Mercedes while at the same time talking down the potential of the YDT in his statement

        1. Well he does have a point, a young driver, in most ocassion, is a dirver that have never drive a F1 car, so you can´t count on him driving in the correct way (talking aerodynamics and wind here) and the feedback isn´t the same.

          But I guess we will never know, since the other teams will never have a change to do the same as Mercedes did.

          1. So Pirelli, should have to put up with second rate feedback from inexperienced test drivers to develop their tyres for next year?

            Considering the car was left in the same spec for 1000kms with only worn or damaged parts replaced over that distance, i wonder if any feedback given on the aerodynamics and car dynamics was much use after the first 50km, given they had each already done three practice sessions, qualifying and race distance in the same specification car prior to then completing 500km each with only the variable being the tyres on which they had no specific information on.

            Just saying

          2. You think there’s a complete new F1-car after each race? Lot’s of parts are being re-used, race after race.

  2. My way is to put energy into the car and that is how I was very quick last year.

    And the barriers absorbed a lot of that energy, Pastor.

    1. @david-a
      I actually don’t ever remember Maldonado crashing into a wall, strangely, he’s always crashing into other drivers though. ;-)

      In fact, I’m pretty sure that it has been Lewis who has absorbed the most Venezuelan energy in his career.

      1. Last lap(?) Australia 2012.

        1. Fernando Cruz
          25th June 2013, 13:54

          …and second lap of Brazil 2012…

    2. Its easy to drive aggressively without thinking and rely mostly on reflex to drive the car. (for eg, Romain)

      Its not easy to be smooth and fast at the same time, you need more delicate feeling for the car and maximize the output with minimum input. It also easier to adapt to the car by being smooth as you are manipulating the car instead of being manipulated (reflexive driving).

      Its also misleading on being smooth = slow. 1 can be smooth on how he maneuver the car, however he could be extremely harsh on the throttle, braking etc

      And that will come into play critically next year when team will face the task of saving tire and fuel.

      If Pastor thinks that this year is tough, wait until next year.

      1. Fernando Cruz
        25th June 2013, 14:03

        This year’s tyres are different, so smooth drivers can have an advantage. That is the reason I think Bruno Senna could be quicker than Maldonado this year. But maybe Bottas is the driver who is always quick regardless of the characteristics of tyres.

  3. If Red Bull did, I’m almost certain they’d get penalised more considering one of the mitigating factors for Mercedes’ lower punishment was the fact they ‘had no reason to believe the test was illegal.’ Red Bull know that it is illegal, so would get a bigger penalty than just losing the YDT.

    1. Exactly. And this is why the rumors are actually outright fabrications that should never have been published as a credible threat. Marko has already denied them!

    2. The phrase about Mercedes having no reason to believe the test was illegal is solely there to excuse the tribunals fear of taking action against them. Everybody knew exceptionally well that the 2013 chassis was illegal unless Pirelli executed the test themselves, especially Brawn who deliberately intended to exploit the wording about it being a Pirelli test.

      Mind you; he did NOT get away with that but his Mercedes leverage got him off the hook regardless. It is hard to comprwhen why he is applauded as clever when this latest exploitation attempt actually failed?

      Personlly I hate for the championship’s sake to see Red Bull have three days of testing, but I would absolutely love to see them show FIA how outrageously unfair the “punishment” was.

      1. But it was a Pirelli test. If it wasn’t, or even angled that way, Mercedes would be out of the championship as testing is straight up banned. If Red Bull took up a test, they’d be doing it under their own steam, and they’d almost certainly be gaining far more data than what Mercedes did.

        1. For Red Bull to do an illegal test, they’d need tires. Good luck getting tires RBR.

          1. Also a good point. Could you imagine what would happen if Pirelli actually supplied to tyres.

  4. Ok Red Bull in theory that would only work if Pirelli asked you to do the test. Also there is the possibility of the “If you don’t shut-up I’m gonna turn this car around and take you home” syndrome where the FIA (parent) told Mercedes (kid #1) to shut-up, but when Red Bull (kid #2) does the same thing it invokes the turning around & taking home (aka a harsher punishment).

    1. Haha :D Well said.

    2. I did a comment on the last news when Horner complained punishment for Mercedes wasn’t strong enough.

      I likened him to the younger brother who sold his big brother out for something (say, smoking in the bathroom) and then complains the big brother got assigned to his room rather than get beaten by the parents.

      This one just reinforces my feeling Red Bull are being childish about hte whole story

      1. You compare two teams about being children and then conclude that they’re childish. Makes sense.
        However, it’s just as childish to smoke in your parents’ bathroom. And there’s a third child called Ferrari who complained even louder, after smoking a herbal cigarette themselves. But that’s not the same and the parents are okay with that for some reason. Besides, all the neighbours who watch that stuff agree that the little brat should have been slapped across the face instead of just being sent to their room.

        1. Yep, I couldn’t have said it better. Nice way to follow the metaphore up :).

  5. Red Bull taking on the FIA/tribunal? I’m not sure that’s a wise idea. This is all getting a little childish isn’t it? Surely a young drivers’ test with the correct spec tyres is going to be more beneficial anyway, or at the very least, close to it (assuming it’s dry).

    Who knows, this could be the start of a new breakaway series at some point!

    1. What’s the worst it could happen? Not participate in the Young driver test?

  6. yes, yes, Red Bull – crybabies. I really doubt they would try such a ridiculous move, it’s silly and the FIA will come down on them with a hammer for bringing the sport into disrepute, if they dare use the “Mercedes has set a precedent” line. Not to mention that Pirelli would surely have no desire to take part in such a test.

    1. +1

      Pirelli would never supply the tyres. They could always test on empty Redbull cans though.

      1. They’d probably last longer than this year’s Pirellis!

        1. I can’t be the only one that thinks these comments have gotten really old can I?

    2. redbull cry babies? just you wait, they will blow the rest of the field away without illegal testing, while mercedes will s
      till be 4h even after cheating.

  7. “Red Bull executives are considering boycotting the young drivers’ test to set up their own private session in a mirror of the Mercedes case. A private test would breach the FIA rule book but Red Bull are said to have told [Bernie] Ecclestone that they would take the risk of a reprimand – the punishment meted out to Mercedes – for the benefit of three days of testing.”

    I am not going to deny that I’m a Ferrari fan, and always among the first to bash Red Bull, but strangely enough, I actually agree with them here.

    Everyone would chose 1000 km of testing with the current drivers’ line up over 3 days of testing with a young and inexperienced driver any day. The punishment Mercedes got is laughable. They have broken the rules and made a net gain from it, including the punishment. This practically encourages F1 teams to cheat.

    Maybe if Merc were banned for 2 or 3 races (like BAR in 2005) instead of 3 test sessions, they might have actually suffered a consequence for cheating instead of gaining an advantage from it.

    This punishment is like punishing a criminal who robbed $1,000,000 from a bank by fining them $5000, and letting them keep the million that they robbed. It makes no sense.

    FIA under Todt is gutless, had this rule-breaking happened in 2007, Max Mosley would’ve laid Mercedes down and screwed them big time.

    1. I think most people (including myself) agree that the punishment was way too lenient, that’s not the point. The point is how you deal with it, and Red Bull and Ferrari have both reacted in predictably childish ways. It’s a shame.

    2. Like Max’s FIA did to Ross at Bennetton (Traction Control) or Ferrari (Illegal Barge Boards) or Brawn GP (Double Diffuser)?????

      1. The barge board controversy is often over-played.
        I was there in 1999 at both Sepang & Suzuka & worked on a feature explaining it that was played out on the FOM Digital platform at Suzuka.
        The barge boards were never illegal when measured the correct way (As was done at other races that year). They were only declared illegal at Sepang because an inexperienced scrutineer used incorrect procedure & took the measurement from the wrong place.

        I often find the claims that the FIA were pro-Ferrari & helping Ferrari to be quite laughable really, Especially when you consider many of the regulation changes brought in post-2002 were done to hurt Ferrari’s ‘dominance’.

        People often see what they want to see & traditionally when a team or driver is ‘dominating’ there is always cries of favoritism. When Ferrari were winning the FIA were favoring them & With Red Bull the past few years there are constant cries the FIA are favoring them in various ways. With Brawn in 2009 they were gifted everything because the FIA favored them with the diffuser row even though it was perfectly clear reading the regulations that what they did was 100% legal (Don’t forget Williams/Toyota also had double diffusers).
        If McLaren or Lotus suddenly spend the next 4-5yrs dominating I guarantee people will start whining about them getting the favored treatment.

        People don’t like dominance & when we do see it there always looking for a reason to why its not because a team/driver is just better, Its always because there getting help from the FIA. How many times do we hear the talk that Vettel ain’t that good or that Red Bull are cheating or been helped by lax rules.

        1. I suspect you might have forgotten to remove those red tinted spectacles if you seriously think many fans think Red Bull have been successful on the back of FIA favoritism in the way Ferrari enjoyed it for many years!

          As for Brawn and his double diffusers in 2009, the reason that was very different to the Toyota team’s attempt to exploit the same wording loophole is that Ross Brawn helped write the wording he personally exploited! But the biggest shame about that whole sorry year was him being awarded an MBE for his disgraceful behaviour.

          1. @Opti: I think you’re wrong, Optil. Brawn was one of the three teams NOT involved in the rule writing that year. The other 7 teams all knew that the intention of the rules was that double diffusers would not be allowed and so they didn’t develop a workaround. But Brawn, Toyota and Williams (all not involved in the rules writing) saw the loophole and exploited it. The others complained, but the rule was badly written and the DD’s were upheld. Brawn even warned the other teams in advance that the rule as written had a loophole.

          2. @Joebloggs: Sounds like you may be thinking of the OWG (Overtaking Working Group) which made the recommendations of what changes were needed. Paddy Lowe and 2 others sat on that. Ross Brawn was chairman of the Technichal Regs Working Group which wrote the actual rule wording. You will notice that article you referenced was from Mid-April and was part of Brawn’s defense to the complaints he had exploited his own wording. As I recall other members of the TR group did not even recall Ross’ protests they were so quietly made.

        2. Personally I believe that MS was moved from the mess that had become Benetton, to Ferrari, to end their (at the time) 16 year WDC drought, post-Senna, to create a new chapter in F1 since the last driver of the previous era, Senna, sadly died and was not able to help F1 carry itself into a new chapter with MS as the likely heir apparent. I think MS was a ‘made’ icon in that regard, with the mega contract that was unprecedented including contracted-to-be-subservient teammates, and eventually we discovered they had more power than any other team including veto power on rule changes at the boardroom table, not to mention hundreds of millions of extra dollars handed to them by F1 just because they were Ferrari. And the records broken reflect all that favouritism. I think the rules started to change in 2002 to stop dominance, but it was a monster that F1 itself created. I don’t believe Red Bull or any other team will ever receive even a thimble worth of the type of advantages MS had. Thankfully.

        3. @GT_Racer: The barge boards were in fact illegal. Ferrari’s argument, accepted by the FIA, was that the barge boards were the correct height when the front wheels were pointed straight ahead, but that they became too low when the front wheels were turned and the car’s geometry changed. Although accepted by the FIA, this completely ignores the rule that the cars must be legal at all times on the track. The only way for the Ferrari’s to be legal at all times would have been if the steering was locked in the straight ahead position.
          Compare this with the Michelin tyre controversy – the Michelins were legal at the start of the race but wore in such a way that the shoulders became too wide, thus making them illegal during the race. The FIA forced Michelin to change their tyres so that they conformed at all times.

    3. And what tyres are they going to use? Are they going to leave the entire running of the test to Pirelli and leave the car in the same specification from the start of the test to the finish, only replacing worn/damaged parts with the same spec that was taken off?

      Because that is how the Barcelona test was carried out. This is what Mercedes and Pirelli very clearly testified to.

      Its a non starter, and would be the stupidest thing a team would ever consider doing.
      The ruling before is that Mercedes broke the rules but did so in the belief they had permission from the FIA and deemed to have had the best intentions. If Red Bull or any other team blatantly went out to test out side of the “good faith” mitigating circumstances they would be punished heavily.

    4. FIA under Todt is gutless, had this rule-breaking happened in 2007, Max Mosley would’ve laid Mercedes down and screwed them big time.

      Yes we all know how Max feels about those naughty German things… ;)

      It would have been far better to give an overly harsh penalty and put an end to the matter than to give the slap on the wrist that Merc proposed and got. They should have had to sit out the YDT and forfeit all constructor’s points after their test untilt he balance had been redressed (at least).

  8. Oh Redbull please grow up ! Empty threats from a sulking team.

    1. Mclarensgirl1
      25th June 2013, 11:52

      Couldn’t agree more

  9. Red Bull are really starting to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    1. That’s the secret of Newey’s trademark tight packaging. :)

  10. Don’t forget RedBull own two teams. The sacrificial lamb could be used to see if it’s legit before risking a championship challenge with their main team.

    1. Well spotted… even it they do so, the move would be so suspicious that all the other teams would warn FIA about how the move is going directed. I doubt they finally do it an risk the already-built work for a whim or sense of revenge

  11. What an F1 Smorgasbord today! Nice to getting ready for some racing action again as the wisps of wimpy tire smoke waft away.

    LOL – Red Bull should try it and see how it works out for them. I’m not a Red Bull fan or detractor, merely an observer, but they are just plain trying to be a pain in the **** as much as possible. It’s easy to sit up and cry like a howler monkey knowing that the test won’t happen. Shut up and race. You’re ahead and don’t seem to know it.

    Pastor Maldonado finally came up with an excuse for why he, a race winner last season, is being surpassed by a rookie this season. I don’t know, there could be some truth to what he is saying, but it sounds suspect. This season, he’s had more off road excursions than the average 4 wheel drive vehicle has in a lifetime. If he was faster than Bottas and then throwing the car off track while doing so, that would be something. But, he’s rarely been faster at all. True, the Williams car is a huge disappointment, but with his experience Maldonado should somehow at least be keeping up with Bottas.

    Agree with the COTD, the intrigue and rule bending was rather boring this go round. More suited for a TV legal drama. *yawn*

    Let’s go racing!

    1. I think it’s also worth remembering that Bottas was often faster than Maldonado in free practice last season too so I’m not so sure that it’s just that this year’s car happens to suit him better.

    2. maldonado is typical of high level drivers, fast in a fast ca, but no so in a slow car. in a great car he would be a champion. remember hamilton finishing 18th etc when mclaren were bad in first part of 2009?

  12. I doubt RBR would do such a thing, that be very very foolish.

  13. BJ (@beejis60)
    25th June 2013, 5:08

    That fact still remains that Merc apparently didn’t do any aero in an attempt to boost speed or any “real testing” whatsoever. I think you would certainly have more to gain if you go to the YDT with that purpose. Moreover, with RBR acting like a bunch of drama queens, they would certainly look more like idiots if they pulled that stunt than they already appear.

  14. I dare RBR to do this. Hear me Horner?

    1. Yuppers, they just might do this and get banned from the sport forever. Good riddance!!

  15. @keithcollantine I’m honored as always sir, thanks!

  16. There is a lot of rubbish “journalism” going around lately. It’s time for the next GP to come before we hear more unverified stories about un-named executives telling reporters what they might or might not do.

  17. Could someone please notify the Red Bull team they are grown men? I’ve literally observed toddlers doing the exact same thing: well, he did it and didn’t get punished, so why wouldn’t I do it?

    The whole reason I consider the punishment fair (or even slightly too harsh) is that Mercedes were under the impression that they were allowed to do the test, which will not be the case if Red Bull does such a test. Of course Red Bull will not follow through with this plan: they are just making a statement, saying how much they disagree with the outcome of the tribunal. It only increases friction between teams, FIA and Pirelli, which is the exact opposite of what we need right now. As a side-note, IMO Red Bull and Ferrari have been very successful at convincing the fans to question the outcome of the trial.

    Just a few words on an argument that is being used by some: the “what if they had done the test after the YDT!?” argument just has to stop. In that case, an alternative but similar penalty would have been handed to them – that’s it. It’s a stupid argument and has to stop because it’s missing the point of this discussion entirely.

    1. @beejis60 @macademianut @copersucar @andae23 @prisoner-monkeys @hotbottoms @jason12

      It looks to me really funny, that all the condenning on Red Bull came even after I posted an article in which Marko already said the report wasn´t true. I get people don´t like RBR but maybe some impartianlity will be nice to apply in this case for RBR or any other team.

      Marko, though, has denied the claims telling Germany’s Sport Bild: “We of course do not commit a breach of rules.”

      1. That’s your explanation? “Marko is the voice if reason”?

        It wouldn’t be the first time Red Bull have said one thing, then contradicted themselves with a comment from Marko (or Horner). This is their way of making a spectacle of an issue to draw attention to it – in this case, the way they are unhappy with Mercedes’ penalty – and then taken a less-controversial stance as their official position on the matter.

        They’re obviously trying to pressures the FIA into giving Mercedes a harsher (and Red Bull-friendly) penalty. Since they were not a part of the tribunal, they are unable to appeal the verdict, and so have resorted to their favourite tactic: dumbing the issue down and starting a trial by media.

    2. @andae23

      The whole reason I consider the punishment fair (or even slightly too harsh) is that Mercedes were under the impression that they were allowed to do the test

      I’m inclined to disagree with you here: “impression” is not “conformation” and they should’ve had all the necessary documentation to prove they could conduct the test with the 2013 car. Since they didn’t do that I think the punishment was actually very lenient, as the FIA self-evidently hadn’t given them the green light.

      In that sense, I think the punishment should be at least equivalent to the crime which I don’t feel missing the young driver’s test is (as Mercedes crucially had 1000km running with their race drivers).

      1. @celeste Just read what seems to be the source of this story: the only thing Marko says is:

        “Wir begehen natürlich keinen Regelbruch!”

        ‘Of course we won’t break the rules!’

        Apart from that he doesn’t say anything in response to the round-up’s article. So I still think the boycott thing was just them exaggerating while making the point that the punishment was lenient.

        @vettel1 Mercedes had been assured by Pirelli that the Italians had informed all teams about this test correctly, so the only thing Mercedes had neglected to do was question Pirelli’s words and ask the FIA about it themselves. It is their responsibility as well as Pirelli’s to do that and in a way Mercedes have been a little bit careless, but the point is: do you believe Mercedes honestly didn’t want to break the rules or did they do it intentionally? This is a matter of opinion – and I believe Mercedes.

        1. @andae23 no, I do not believe they intended to break the rules but that’s a bit like saying I didn’t intend to kill the man – you still get charged with manslaughter. I think it was very much their responsibility to clarify with the FIA if they were allowed to test with the 2013 car as they must surely assume first and foremost it contravenes article 22 of the sporting regulations.

          Pirelli made it quite clear they did not request Mercedes to test with the 2013 car – that was Mercedes’ choice and what caused them to receive this punishment. So it was an error of judgment on their part IMO.

          1. You might still get Manslaughter, but mitigating circumstances will influence the sentence.
            Mercedes WERE found guilty of contravening the sporting regulations. What part of GUILTY do people not understand.
            But just being found guilty of an offence does not automatically mean you receive the harshest sentence. Sentencing is done after a verdict has been decided and mitigating circumstances in this case guided the panel to a sentence. They were found GUILTY and received a reprimand, ordered to miss the young drivers test and pay 1/3rd of the court fees.

            Law is not black and white, its shades of grey. The same grey shades that influence scentancing in criminal courts. People who commit criminal offences do NOT automatically go to jail.

          2. @vettel1 Regarding the manslaughter: see comment above, pretty much agree with everything @theoddkiwi says.

            About the 2013 car: Mercedes thought that the test was actually a Pirelli test, so they assumed Pirelli had invited all teams to join accordingly. It turned out to be that Pirelli hadn’t organized the test in accordance to the rules, which in turn would forbid Mercedes using a 2013 car. So imo, using a 2013 car and therefore breaking the rules is a direct consequence of poor communication between Pirelli and the FIA.

  18. Red Bull’s attitude is disgusting. They have no right to defy the FIA just because they didn’t like the outcome of the tribunal. And if they did, then they probably wouldn’t get anywhere because Pirelli could simply refuse to supply tyres.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys

      Red Bull’s attitude is disgusting. They have no right to defy the FIA just because they didn’t like the outcome of the tribunal.

      They aren’t actually defying FIA, but following Mercedes’ lead and seeing whether the rules are same for anyone*. To be honest, I think FIA should allow every willing team to do a 1000 km test with race drivers instead of Young Driver’s Test. It would be terrible for young drivers, but FIA started this by giving Mercedes such punishment.

      And while I think RBR are a bit childish, their behavior just shows how deeply unfair other teams see the outcome of the Tribunal. And so do fans, 75 % of F1Fanatic’s think the penalty was too soft, so I don’t think the biggest issue here is Red Bull’s attitude.

      *It’s true that the situation wouldn’t be exactly the same, because FIA thought Mercedes acted in a good faith. Nevertheless, their punishment was less than the advantage they gained.

      1. 75% of F1Fanatic’s think the penalty was too soft

        @hotbottoms And 99% of them haven’t read the FIA’s report.

        1. You mean FIA’s “excuse” I am sure!

        2. Yeah because FIA’s report had the whole truth and nothing but the truth in it.. Pffft

          1. @poul @todfod I’m just pointing out that people’s opinions on the testgate results are not a solid base for an argument, because a lot of them haven’t read up on the subject sufficiently to be able to judge themselves.

            By the way, you both have an opinion on the report… can I assume you both actually read it?

          2. @andae23
            I have read it. There is absolutely nothing in the decision that wasn’t reported by quality F1 sites. Reading the original decision in this case isn’t in my opinion mandatory to form a valid opinion on the subject. Or can you point me any part of the decision that is important in order to understand FIA’s decision and wasn’t reported by, for instance, F1Fanatic?

          3. I simply disagree that Mercedes gained more from a Pirelli tire test of no data sharing than they have lost by being banned from the YDT. At a minimum, if I’m wrong in my first sentence, people are at least way overblowing the advantages they gained from the tire test, imho, and still seem convinced this was a normal F1 team test.

            I do not believe that any team would rather just have their two primary drivers driving around for 100km on this years tires while Pirelli runs tests, and then for 900km on next years tires, with no opportunity to change anything on the car or try new parts, vs. a YDT where they can work with their young drivers AND try new things on their cars AND aren’t limited to 100km on current tires AND will actually know what tires are on the car with what tire pressures etc etc.

          4. @hotbottoms No I cannot. Maybe my reply to your original comment was a bit short-sighted, but I still stand with my second comment: “a lot of [people] haven’t read up on the subject sufficiently to be able to judge themselves” – that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should read the report (wouldn’t hurt though).

            I just find it weird that a lot of people disagree with the Tribunal’s outcome – and I simply cannot understand why.

      2. @hotbottoms

        They aren’t actually defying FIA, but following Mercedes’ lead and seeing whether the rules are same for anyone.

        No, this is defiance. They’re effectively saying “we don’t like the penalty that was given, so we’re going to break the rules”. Ironically, they expect to be given precisely the same penalty as Mercedes, but have overlooked the way the FIA accepted the idea that Mercedes carried out the test in good faith. For Red Bull to announce that they want to have their own private test that they know to be illegal and held entirely out of spite means that there can be no food faith here, and they will naturally be given a harsher penalty.

  19. That article about the new impact structure is really good news. It does a good job of showing us, that F1 works far better than the whole tyre test thing (and daft remarks about it from many team members and fans) suggests:
    1. It shows that Backmarkers really do bring something to the sport (the solution came from a Marussia Idea)
    2. While many of the things teams develop have no direct relevance to the automotive industry, the concepts used, and things learn, can be very well used to improve completely different areas of technology (RBR no doubt learnt a lot about carbon fibre structures and behavior from making their FW flex exactly enough to pass the tests, but at the same time provide an advantage)
    3. Even when teams are bickering no end, and can hardly agree even on the color of the sky, they are actually quite good when they are working constructively towards something.

    Altogether very welcome and positive news.

  20. Funny how a ‘Cheater’ is always paranoid about others getting away with cheating….

    1. You know what? Psycologists can tell you a lot of reasons why the two goes hand in hand but you are exactly rifght.

  21. Great COTD unfortunately spoiled by the heading article which doesn’t even deserve the time of day. It’s propaganda, a political storm in a tea cup that again the media has had a wiff of a run with it. Unfortunately this site has lost the wisdom to filter this rubbish out.

  22. There’s a few interesting asides in Matthew Syed’s interview with Ecclestone in today’s Times ( – subscription required). Whilst the article focuses on Ecclestone’s personal life, it does note that Syed was with Ecclestone when he found out about the FIA tribunal’s ruling and relays how Ecclestone was told the decision by Jean Todt, and the preceded to speak to Toto Wolff and leave a message for Christian Horner. It also notes Ecclestone’s thoughts about his possible incarceration for bribery (“I am not guilty of anything except being got at. But if I get sent to jail, I will have to deal with it. I don’t think I will like it very much. But you have to get on with things”).

  23. I hope Red Bull do, seeing them suspended for a few races might liven up F1 again. Mercedes obviously thought they had permission or at least the answers to their questions were so vague they could get away with it. If Red Bull set up a private test now it’s a deliberate and petulant rule break.

    1. By your logic the rules are now different from before. Mercedes broke the rules whether the claim not intending to or not.

    2. Red Bull and Ferrari should go ahead and just do their own private tests. What is the FIA going to do? Exclude the two most important teams on the grid right now? Ban Alonso and Vettel from the championship?

      It looks like Rd Bull and Ferrari have the opportunity to twist the FIA’s arm if they like, and I think they should do it

  24. In light of what fans and teams believe, I’d like to repeat that the YDT ban for Mercedes is vastly underestimated.

    Compared to a tyre test, this is a full fletched test where you can do anything you want to. Pirelli would have never allowed Mercedes to bolt on never-raced updates; that would have contaminated the data. At the young drivers test on the other hand they can do that, with tyres that are known by now.
    I also see the eagerness to downplay the input of a “young driver”. Most teams actually do not run a young driver, but a driver who has extensive experience in both other racing series AND the inhouse simulator. Resr assured: they know perfectly how to drive, operate and set up a f1 car! Therefore, the quality of their input will be only slightly behind that of a regular f1 driver (so much for Marko’s comments). Even beside that, the teams run a huge amount of sensors, racks and visflow paint. Even completely without any input of the driver, they will be able to gather huge amounts of data. Mercedes drove with until now never used tyres, will most likely not have been able to test any updates and were limited to 1000km’s. You can do an additional 500-750km’s on the same 3 days if you want to.

    Anybody who thinks the loss of that test is nothing more th a slap on the wrist, should take a deep breath and question himself if his view isn’t biased. Everybody up to and including Keith (yeah sorry man), and especially ferrari and red bull. People were very eager to point out the numerous advantages one could get out of a tyre test, but the same people apperently aren’t able to do that for what is really a full fletched in-season test.

  25. I would do exactly what RBR have suggested and use the softest penalty ever in the history of F1 for a very clear, calculated breech of the regulations as a precedent for a non-penalty which should result from a test session of their own.

    However I would test it with STR instead of the top squad. If the penalty is different to the sham penalty given to Mercedes then appeal it to kingdom come. If you get away with it, like Mercedes have, then open the gates to Catalunya and let everybody test!

    I have a sick feeling in regards to the whole issue. Mercedes did the wrong thing, made up some soft excuse and it worked. In my opinion it worked because Mercedes management knows that f1 needs Mercedes more than Mercedes needs f1, and Mercedes probably threatened to walk away if a large penalty was handed out so the result was a predictably soft penalty.

    But will RBR have the testicular fortitude to follow through with their threats? Well, get STR down to a track, any track and get testing!

    1. And where will STR/RBR get tires from?

      And if they did get tires, would they be for 10% of 100km on this years tires and 90% of 1000km for ideas on 2014 tires?

      And if instead they somehow get tires and decide to make it a regular F1 test, how will the other teams react to THAT massive advantage given that the Mercedes test was a Pirelli test run by Pirelli and only 100km of it was on this year’s tires?

      This is, as many people have opined, just RBR embarrassing themselves with childish whining, after they themselves were the most vocal for changes to the tires.

  26. Pretty ambitious stuff from Chilton…

  27. I actually hope that RedBull do that.

  28. Wow…love how Red Bull and Ferrari trying to make MB look bad when they get accused of cheating constantly… I think they just like the shadow cast off them… Ferrari with their own test and Red Bull of all people HAHAHAHA… isnt their motto “If you aren’t cheatin, you arent trying”?? I hear that is replacing “fgives you wings..” … seriously though…go cry in a corner

  29. A few statements;
    Mercedes have been punished for breaking FIA rules.
    RBR complained about that rule breaking but haven’t said they would do the same.

    So if the FIA are saying missing the YDT is equivalent to the illegal Pirelli test, why can’t the teams taking part use their first line drivers just like Mercedes did?

  30. I’m not seeing Redbull doing that, but i would love the to take a shot at, with Toro Rosso perhaps…
    But if not, i’m sure about one thing, RBR and Ferrari will be at their best in this season and on the next one, if Mercedes won’t at least be at the same level they will pass a poor image…Because with a test that give them such as data as this and not be at the same level is a bit of a shame.

    Maybe the words from Hamilton regarding Ferrari will start to make sense

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