Should Mercedes be allowed into Young Drivers’ Test?

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Last month an FIA International Tribunal banned Mercedes from participating in the forthcoming Young Drivers’ Test after they had been found to have illegally conducted a test using a current car with Pirelli.

Mercedes accepted their punishment at the time. But since then the FIA has altered the plans for the test which led Mercedes to enquire whether they might now be allowed to join in.

Their request was denied. But does the FIA’s change in plans for the test mean that Mercedes’ ban should be reconsidered?

For

Following the tyre failures seen at Silverstone Pirelli announced it will introduce new tyres at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The FIA decided to open the Young Drivers’ Test to more experienced drivers so teams could test them.

Mercedes then suggested that as the purpose of the test has been changed on safety grounds, they should have been allowed some degree of participation in it. They were one of the teams to experience a tyre failure at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton added that keeping Mercedes from the test was unfair: “I don’t know if people fully appreciate how big a negative it is for us not doing the test.”

“We’re going to go to Hungary when other people have run different ride heights and tested different pressures, and got their car ready for a long run. We won’t have any of that information, so we’re going to go into it blind.”

Hamilton added “in a sport everything should just be equal, you shouldn’t be going to races like that”.

Against

Several of Mercedes’ rivals believed their original punishment of exclusion from the Young Drivers Test – before it had been opened up to race drivers – was too lenient.

Christian Horner pointed out that Mercedes’ Pirelli test involved their race drivers who originally would be ineligible to participate in the Young Drivers’ test: “It is always preferential to test with race drivers rather than test drivers.”

Mercedes’ original punishment as handed down by the FIA International Tribunal banned them participating in the “three day young driver training test”. The only means of getting around that would have been to extend the test to a fourth day, which may not have been feasible at short notice.

I say

Regardless of whether it would have been possible to extend the test to a fourth day to help Mercedes, I don’t think it was necessary to do so.

There are two cases for letting them in: on grounds of safety and fairness for the competition. On the former, as Pirelli are using a product which is substantially similar to that which was used last year, I think the input of ten teams will be sufficient and an eleventh is not needed. Pirelli have said in the past they only need one car for tyre testing, providing it is of current specification.

On the question of fairness the change in purpose of the Young Drivers’ Test under which race drivers may now participate has ironically served to make Mercedes’ penalty a more fitting punishment than it was to begin with.

In principle it is clearly not ideal for the sports’ governing body to change an area of the rules under which a team has a pending punishment – that practice has an obvious potential for abuse. But in this case it was more important the FIA used the opportunity presented by the Young Drivers’ Test to give Pirelli the chance to evaluate their new tyres.

You say

Do you think Mercedes should be allowed to have some degree of participation in the Young Drivers’ Test? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should Mercedes be allowed to participate in the Young Drivers' Test?

  • Yes (28%)
  • No (69%)
  • No opinion (3%)

Total Voters: 494

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145 comments on Should Mercedes be allowed into Young Drivers’ Test?

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  1. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 10th July 2013, 10:42

    Well, the question is, if they are allowed to partake in the changed format of the YDT, what would be left of their punishment? It would mean that Mercedes goes unpunished for something the FIA considered a punishable offense.

    Regardless if one personally thinks Mercedes should have been punished or not, the facts stand that the FIA considered it a punishable offense.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th July 2013, 14:35

      @mmmracer – I assume that an alternative punishment would be given if then were allowed to take part in the YDT.

      • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 11th July 2013, 8:16

        But that’s not what Mercedes are trying to do. If they said “just give us a different punishment, but we feel under the current conditions, we should be allowed into the YDT”, it’s a completely different picture. What Mercedes are trying to accomplish is weaseling themselves out of punishment altogether, under the guise that the test has been changed.

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 10th July 2013, 18:28

      @mnmracer nice one. Nice point of view

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

      Good point raised @mnmracer. I guess that if they should be allowed, it should be only for a day of testing the tyres – to make sure they do not make any catastrophical errors in setup.

      But you also helped me answer the question posed and vote, because really it can hardly be for safety reasons, when the team will have all of the friday to test those tyres anyhow. The only reason to let Mercedes into the test would be if its deemed that there should not have been a punishment in the first place (as its now pretty clear that a test was needed to get Pirelli onwards in their development).

      • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 13th July 2013, 3:58

        to make sure they do not make any catastrophical errors in setup

        I seem to recall HRT having a penchant, in the past, of having no pre-season testing whatsoever, and even missing out on the first practice session, and not deemed to pose sufficient safety risk. Granted, Mercedes cars put more stress on their tyres, but still, given that the tyres are being made more durable, not less? Humbug.

        Definitely not a fan of Hamilton after this weaseling.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th July 2013, 9:45

          Yeah, @hircus, the teams are well capable of sorting that kind of thing out in their simulator and during the friday. That is why I voted that No, they should not be allowed in.

          The whole “tyre test” thing during the YDT is more to do with teams who had wanted it to be more of a punishment to mercedes and getting equal opportunity to do a long run with their cars than safety of any sort. Because really, the tyres used last weekend showed that they ware safe enough, and Pirelli is not going to learn an awfull lot from this test.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 13th July 2013, 10:53

            The whole “tyre test” thing during the YDT is more to do with teams who had wanted it to be more of a punishment to mercedes and getting equal opportunity to do a long run with their cars than safety of any sort.

            So you think that changed a punishment handed out by an independent tribunal because other parties with a vested interest think it should be harsher is OK? Because otherwise all I can see in your post is arguments FOR allowing Mercedes to take part in the test.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th July 2013, 11:02

            Hm, please point me to the part of my comment where I actually say I think that is ok @fluxsource.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 13th July 2013, 11:05

            @bascb You’re correct – I read that into your comment when it wasn’t there. Sorry.

            Although on a separate topic, I would note that tyres used in Germany are not the ones that are going to be used in the future.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th July 2013, 11:10

            No problem @fluxsource, but thanks for the reply :-8

            I mentioned the tyres used in Germany being save, because it shows that Pirelli is able to make save tyres (if they keep on the safe side of caution), so that there should not be an issue with one of the teams getting to learn them only during FP before the race.

  2. JCost (@jcost) said on 10th July 2013, 10:44

    I voted No.

    I feel for the guys, but just try to work harder on FP at Hungaroring.

  3. On one end i think the whole farce around the testing they did was unneeded and only caused by petty behavior around FIA and paddock. As a result i never felt the “punishment” was too lenient. The teams that did should get their heads out of their posterior and see the issue there was.

    And look what happened, all heads have been extracted and suddenly there is a tyre change, testing etc, just what Pirelli needs to keep making the right tyres.

    So, should they be allowed in the YDT… i would say yes, mainly because everyone else is testing this new tyre as well. As a penalty they should not be allowed to bring new parts, where the other teams can. Result would be that all teams know the new tyres and Mercedes has not tested their upgrades. Seems fair and reasonable.

    Fact that we are still crying over the “illegal test” shows that up till now FIA, Teams and press have not learned from the race at Silverstone. A tyre manufacturer NEEDS regular testing with CURRENT (not 2 years old) material to keep making useful, safe and interesting tyres. So give them the option and stop crying over the fact that they arranged for a test in THEIR benefit outside the FIA.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 10th July 2013, 12:44

      As @keithcollantine points out though, there’s really very little that Pirelli would learn from 11 teams running that they won’t learn from 10 teams running. So there’s no real justification for allowing them to test based on safety or anything else to benefit Pirelli – they’ve already addressed this by allowing race drivers to run the YDT anyway, so I can’t see how you can say they haven’t learned from Silverstone. In fact, since Silverstone they’ve taken large steps to address those issues – firstly with the tweaks to the YDT, and by allowing Pirelli explicitly to conduct tests with current spec cars, and then by tweaking the rules for next year to bring back in-season testing. And of course allowing Pirelli to make emergency changes to the tyres in the space of one week.

      I can’t see how they could do much more for Pirelli at this point. Allowing Mercedes to participate in the test wouldn’t be for the benefit of Pirelli, it would be for the benefit of Mercedes. And out of everyone on the grid, they’re the ones that deserve it the least. They’re currently under sanction for carrying out/participating in a test which was found to be in direct violation of the sporting regulations. In short, they broke the rules, and they’re being punished for it. There are no reasonable grounds for removing that punishment

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2013, 2:44

        The FIA admitted joint culpability in the “secret” test, what punishment are they undertaking ?. Mercedes non inclusion in the YDT was more an attempt to level the playing field than a punishment, the changes to the YDT format mean that MB will in effect be massively disadvantaged for a perceived advantage that has been shown to be negligible by the GermanGP , despite the 2 wins in more favourable conditions they still suffer the same basic problem of overheating rubber.

      • chiliz00 (@chiliz00) said on 11th July 2013, 2:44

        I absolutely agree with this point of view @MazdaChris

  4. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 10th July 2013, 11:24

    Providing the FIA enforce the rule which prevents a race driver from developing the car, then I do believe Mercedes should be allowed to do at least one day of the test, but only if it’s to test the new tyres.

  5. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 10th July 2013, 11:25

    No. You said it exactly the way I feel it, Keith: “On the question of fairness the change in purpose of the Young Drivers’ Test under which race drivers may now participate has ironically served to make Mercedes’ penalty a more fitting punishment than it was to begin with.”.

    The tyres, as we saw in the German GP, are now safe with the Kevlar, so Mercedes doesn’t need to necessarily test them on safety grounds. And the cars that where performing relatively well at the beginning of the year are back where they belong. They did their work right in the first place. Want an example of improvement? Red Bull. They didn’t start the most competitive. Now they are up there. Not as dominant, sure, but still front runners. Mercedes should focus on doing the same now.

  6. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 10th July 2013, 11:33

    Mercedes already had one tyre test with their current car and drivers. Allowing them to test again would just serve to make the situation more unequal.

  7. Nick (@npf1) said on 10th July 2013, 11:33

    I voted no. Mercedes was punished for their test and a change in what the consequences mean should not change the verdict, in my opinion. Pirelli and Mercedes could have gone a different route to test tyres, heck, Ferrari did two and will get to run at the YDT, because they were in a safer zone doing those tests.

    Mercedes even suggested this punishment, while Pirelli was making a case for a tyre test. If they deemed a tyre test as such a necessity, they could have waited for a joint test. Surely, they imagined the YDT would not see tyre testing, but you can’t turn around and say ‘we didn’t know it would impact us this much’ and ask for another punishment.

    If anything, we should be glad the FIA finally shows some consistency.

    • Frieda (@frieda2) said on 10th July 2013, 12:51

      I agree. Mercedes suggested this punnishment and the IT agreed to it, now they cannot cry about the change to the test!

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 10th July 2013, 14:14

      @npf1 How were they in a safer position? They also used a current race driver and also planned before FIA made this change to run their 2011 spec car in another Pirelli test with 2013 parts. They said this openly, this should be evidence that the prior two test may also have had 2013 parts due to the fact that it shows it can be done. They probably also said this because after what MGP went through they felt they could; Ferrari believe 100% that MGP used 2013 upgrades at the tire test and since that wasn’t what they were punished for, Ferrari now feel safe to let the world know without repercussions.

      This does not show consistency at all, if you read the evidence Ferrari’s test seems even worse in areas than MGP. They picked the location paid for it (not pirelli) and thus made tests that seemed under the guise of Pirelli, but more like Ferrari tests.

      I still don’t think MGP should be allowed to test, they already did their safety test, now every one else is doing theirs with current cars as well. All I can say for MGP’s sake is I hope they did test parts and didn’t just help Pirelli or this will hurt the chance they have at the WCC and maybe a WDC.

      • Nick (@npf1) said on 10th July 2013, 14:25

        @magillagorilla

        How were they in a safer position?

        They ran a 2011 spec car and the FIA let them get away with it. In light of the FIA’s decision to ban Mercedes from the YDT, Ferrari did a better job at following the rules. Nobody has protested Ferrari either. I’m not saying they’re saints, but they did do a better job.

        And with consistency I meant on this decision. The FIA banned them from the test, and Mercedes is still banned from the test. If you want to see some inconsistent decision making, read about Michael Schumacher’s race bans in 1994 or Ferrari’s barge board debacle at Malaysia 1999. Regardless how I feel about the involved parties, those were some messy times.

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 10th July 2013, 14:36

          I’m not sure why I keep calling the FIA and the IT in the same breath, but I think it’s got to do with my migraine.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 11th July 2013, 6:04

          @npf1 Not sure you get what I’m saying, there is more too it than just the spec car year. The issue with Ferrari’s runs are the fact they still used a race driver (which is banned), went beyond 1000km, and paid for the entire event and used a Ferrari test track that is heavily disclosed for a tire test. So unlike the MGP test, the Ferrari test are in a far more controlled environment and there is little to no transparency. So what if they used a 2011 car, they still broke the rules and other teams did protest Ferrari, once again I’m not sure if you keep up with F1 news but the FIA gave them a pass.

          The 2011 car can fit 2013 parts which is basically using tire test for update testing. If MGP really wanted to test parts and not get in trouble they clearly could have used the 2011 car. It seems more likely they wanted to help Pirelli and found it fine to use the 2013 car due to FIA not reaffirming its own rules. Hence why I question how there is consistency, upholding a decision isn’t consistency it’s just standing firm.

          • Nick (@npf1) said on 11th July 2013, 9:14

            @magillagorilla I missed the other teams protesting, but then, I do follow F1, but I’m sure you and I both don’t always remember everything. Let’s not go into the shadowy realms of meta-communication, that typically goes wrong online. Let’s not go into semantics either.

            I can’t find any rules about race drivers being banned from testing, and usually race drivers do engage in filming track days. Running a 2011 car is still legal and the FIA, the teams, nor you and I can prove what Mercedes gained by their test, let alone what Ferrari gained from using a car with a EBD and a pushrod suspension instead of a pullrod. Pirelli provided them with tyres, where as all teams can get demonstration tyres if deemed unnecessary by Pirelli.

            Again, I’m not saying Ferrari is innocent or that they haven’t bent the rules. I’m saying the FIA didn’t punish them; thus they, for the FIA, did a better job at following the rules.

            We barely hear about teams running 2 year old cars to gain information on new parts either. Ferrari used to test endlessly, so I’m pretty sure if they could gain a single tenth doing so, they would test endlessly using a F150 all season long, but they don’t. I think the benefits of using a 2 year old car are highly over-estimated, especially since we’re all in agreement Pirelli shouldn’t have to test using a 2010 car and amongst all the tyre talk, a hot topic is certain 2013 cars not dealing well with the current tyres. A 2011 car might as well run into those troubles, not being designed for those tyres, rendering the outcome of new part testing worthless.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 11th July 2013, 9:20

            @npf1

            Running a 2011 car is still legal

            The age of the car is not a factor, any whether it conforms significantly with the the current, last years or next years regulations. Whatever changes Ferrari have CHOSEN to make, you’d have a hard time arguing the 2011 car doesn’t conform significantly with the 2012 regulations (considering the minimal amount of change in the regs), which makes the use of a 2011 car illegal.

          • Nick (@npf1) said on 11th July 2013, 9:27

            I think the Exhaust Blown Diffuser is a major change, though, as it influenced the entire exhaust pattern of the majority of the cars between 2011 and 2012. It would probably render the rear bodywork of the F150 useless for Aerodynamics testing as well, thus not gaining them an advantage.

            If the FIA didn’t pick up on the use of a 2011 car, my guess is Ferrari would have a substantial defense.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 11th July 2013, 9:31

            And my guess would have been that given the go ahead from the FIA lawyer that Mercedes would have a substantial defence, but not everyone sees it that way.

            Fair point about the diffuser though. However, that is essentially only one are where the car wouldn’t conform to the 2012 regulations – the rest of car would still significantly conform.

          • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 11th July 2013, 14:43

            @fluxsource
            You are too easily dismissing the massive effect of the EBD there. For all effects and purposes, it makes it a completely different car.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 11th July 2013, 16:25

            @mnmracer The size of the effect is not relevant. The comparative performance is not what the regulations control – they dictate the level of compliance. After all, how difficult would it be to “break” an EBD?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th July 2013, 11:14

            @mmracer, @fluxsource, lets not forget though that because of the secrecy surrounding the test, no one can know for sure whether Ferrari actually used the EBD (and the bodywork optimised for it) during that test. For all we know they could have stuck their current exhaust configuration and similar bodywork on and tested that!
            Its the chassis that is a 2011 car, but not all the bodywork (FWs were mentioned before, but really its unclear what can and cannot, and we have no information on what they actually ran on that car)

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 13th July 2013, 11:18

            @bascb @mmracer Absolutely. And judging by the way the many have assumed the very worst about the Mercedes test, why are they not doing the same about the Ferrari ones?

            Couple this with the fact that Ferrari didn’t not take the opportunity, when protesting the Mercedes test, of declaring their own, and it’s looks very suspect. And yet the FIA (without any significant investigation) declared that there was no case to answer…

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 13th July 2013, 11:18

            oops, should be @mnmracer

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 10th July 2013, 11:49

    No. As you say, the other teams are enough to decide whether the tyres are safe and work well. Mercedes will have to get used to them, that’s the penalty they deserve.

  9. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 10th July 2013, 11:56

    I do rather wonder where Hamilton’s sense of fairness was while he was doing a secret (or private, or however you want to term it) test for Pirelli.

    End of the day, Mercedes got off very lightly, and it was them that suggested the punishment in the first place. There’s no real safety grounds for them to take part in the test, it’s simply a matter of fairness. Well if you break the rules you should suffer consequences which put you at a disadvantage, shouldn’t you.

    They made their bed, etc..

    • foleyger (@foleyger) said on 10th July 2013, 12:29

      +1. If Hamilton wants fairness , he should have thought of that back at their 3 day test

      • kowa said on 10th July 2013, 17:09

        agree. i didn’t know he was such an hypocritical.
        He and his team said that there was no gain during the barcelona test, but now he is saying that it would be a big disadvantage no to be in the young drivers test.!!!
        Where this guys come from. They are defenetly not the smartest of the class.

    • Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 10th July 2013, 12:36

      it was them that suggested the punishment in the first place

      There lies is the Answer. You suggested it in the First place so get used to it. The Current situation is much more fair than Mercedes conducting secret/private Test. So No They Shouldn’t be allowed to Test in YDT.

    • Laminator (@laminator) said on 10th July 2013, 16:32

      @mazdachris Rightly said… Did the cat caught Lewis’s tounge when he was doing the ‘secret’ test in that black helmet… I mean no tweets nothings about it and now since FIA is allowing it, he is voicing his displeasure….

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 12th July 2013, 19:46

        Mercedes may have suggested their own punishment at the Tribunal but that doesn’t mean they were going to get it, and if in some people’s opinion they got off lightly, Mercedes isn’t to be blamed for that…they were not the ones actually handing themselves the penalty…the Tribunal was…so blame them, not Mercedes.

        The test was private, but it wasn’t secret…Charlie Whiting gave permission so Pirelli and Mercedes proceeded. The fact that Mercedes penalty wasn’t draconian indicates that they had some legs to stand on and to me also indicates that FIA/F1/Pirelli knew all along there were safety concerns but they just refused to use it until tires actually started to explode.

        Mercedes didn’t get to share tire data in May, and now they won’t get to test with young drivers, nor to improve the car itself, nor to actually compile data on the revised tires that will be brought out for the YDT, so in that regard I think the pendulum has now swung and it is all the other teams that are unfairly advantaged over Mercedes.

  10. Libellula (@ladyf1fanatic) said on 10th July 2013, 12:03

    Hope it rains next week, it would be really funny…! LOL

  11. TMF (@tmf42) said on 10th July 2013, 12:04

    No – they tested for Pirelli and now other teams will test for Pirelli – the objective is for Pirelli to learn something and deliver tires to all teams and it’s not to have all teams understanding the new tire.
    And backtracking a penalty that was too lenient in the first place would be wrong.

  12. MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 10th July 2013, 12:08

    I’m rooting for Mercedes this season, I really am, but I think they shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the Young Drivers’ Test. They tried to bend the rules and I don’t blame them for trying, I don’t call it “dishonest” or “sneaky”, but they went a little too far. Their penalty was a bit lenient and now it seems very fitting. Surely they will be at a disadvantage in Hungary but that’s precisely the point of this exercise. It’s supposed to be a punishment. Is it unfair? Personally I think it’s a good outcome.

    • jeffw3048 (@jeffw3048) said on 10th July 2013, 12:23

      No bending at all.. they clearly broke them.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 11th July 2013, 6:24

        @jeffw3048 That’s pretty much what I said: “they tried to bend the rules but went a little too far”, i.e. they broke them. I didn’t realize it was hard to understand

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 12th July 2013, 19:34

          For me the fact that their penalty was lenient indicates that FIA/F1/Pirelli knew the test was necessary and just refused to instill the word ‘safety’ until it got to the point where tires were actually exploding. So I think if Mercedes isn’t allowed a day where they can actually compile data on tires, unlike at the Pirelli test, then the pendulum will swing the other way and all the other teams will be the ones unfairly advantaged.

  13. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 10th July 2013, 12:15

    I voted no, even though I didn’t think the original penalty was too lenient. If there had been a fourth day, then I think they should have been allowed to run that day, but not within the first three days.

    I’m very annoyed by the fact that they will have to run in Hungary with zero knowledge on the new tyres, but the political fallout from being allowed to run would be so huge (and continue throughout the season, as long as they are competitive), that they are better off starting one race at a disadvantage.

  14. Romesh82 (@romesh82) said on 10th July 2013, 12:24

    Simply No…
    Merc did the testing on the current car with drivers in Spain. Now others are doing it.

    Personnally i dont think what Merc recieved is a Penalty. Now other Teams are just equalling the Milage.
    That means they were not penalised at all

    • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 10th July 2013, 16:08

      Good point!

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 10th July 2013, 19:28

      I agree to an extent but Mercedes didn’t get to test the tyres that they were going to use in the following race whereas the other teams will.

      • fjv said on 11th July 2013, 4:42

        Then why so much secrecy? why the vip treatment? why the black helmet? were they testing for their turbo engine? would that not still be unfair to everyone else? Too many questions with out answers to comment properly. But they should not get another test to enjoy for the rest of the season, every time they come out swinging, that could be due to what they learned on their private test, what then? This year there has been visible improvement in Mercedes, right after the test it looked better for their tyres, lap times and so on.

  15. Girts (@girts) said on 10th July 2013, 12:25

    Firstly, I think the test is unnecessary, it should be a normal Young Drivers’ Test with young drivers and Gary Paffett. I tend to believe that FIA, Pirelli and teams are now overreacting, there were no tyre explosions at Nurburgring and many have said that the Kevlar-belted tyres would have prevented the events at Silverstone, too. In my opinion, the young drivers are the ones, who need those extra miles most, not Pirelli or Mercedes.

    As for Mercedes, I think they shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the test. What would the “substitute punishment” be then, suspending Roscoe’s paddock pass for one race?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2013, 11:28

      I don’t really think this is about tyres or Pirelli either @girts, to me its more giving in to complaints from the teams that the penalty was too lenient on Mercedes, as it now gives them much what they wanted – to be able to do a full 3 days of testing with their current car and drivers too.

      The guys coming off badly here are really the young drivers (well and Gary Paffet, although he might well be driving as much as Pedro dl Rosa likely will to help their team with developments), not surprising, when we take in account that from next year onward the FIA and the teams will just ignore these guys anyhow (dropping the YDT altogether), its more like pushing the 2014 testing rule forward here.
      It really does highlight the plight of how we are supposed to see these guys getting into the sport when they have hardly a chance to get any experience in an F1 car now.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 12th July 2013, 19:56

        I don’t think dropping the YDT next year means ignoring the young drivers. There is other in-season testing being allowed which is WHY they are dropping the YDT, so teams will have more chance than they currently do, to test young drivers.

        As to Mercedes being still disallowed from the now revised YDT, and that being a reaction to teams’ dismay at their perception that Mercedes got off lightly I would just say this…the Tribunal made their decision…that’s what the Tribunal was for. Just because the teams didn’t like the punishment they doled out to Mercedes shouldn’t mean that they can now try to apply pressure to the FIA or F1 to punish Mercedes even further. The Tribunal made their decision and it should end at that and I hope that Mercedes isn’t being excluded because the teams think they deserve further punishment. At least real court doesn’t work that way, but then FIA is not real court.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th July 2013, 11:21

          I don’t think dropping the YDT next year means ignoring the young drivers. There is other in-season testing being allowed which is WHY they are dropping the YDT, so teams will have more chance than they currently do, to test young drivers.

          – the reason they brought in the YDT in the first place @robbie, was that apart from the teams who got their budgets from selling testing days No teams were running any up and coming drivers after they dropped the 3rd car on friday rules.

          I love your optimism, but when one considers that some teams (McLaren) don’t even ran talents during the YDT as they were – the time when Paffet was seriously considered a young driver would have been 2006/2007 – I do not share the same optimism. Also looking at the eagerness of some teams to put their regular drivers in for this “YDT” now shows up and coming talents are not too big a priority of most of them

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