Red Bull Racing's motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko, never one to mince his words or shy away from controversy, has made it clear that he regards the very credibility of the 'gentlemen's agreement' on limiting in-season testing is at stake in the upcoming International Tribunal over Mercedes' recent private session with Pirelli.
"This test is a clear breach of the sporting regulations," Marko told the official Formula1.com
website in Montreal this weekend.
"The sporting regulations have been broken," he stated. "Then there is a test agreement among all the teams - a gentlemen's agreement that we haven't even mentioned - that also has been clearly violated.
"If this test is waved through without consequences, all the talks about cost reductions would go out of the window," Marko continued. "It would be the reopening of Pandora's box which would be hard to ever close again."
As an example, he suggested: "Renault would definitely like us to test their new engine, and so on and so forth."
Marko denied that this was just another example of what F1 teams have always done - pushing things to the very limit in the pursuit of a winning edge. "There's the boundaries and there's jumping off a cliff," Marko had earlier told Sky Sports F1
"To push the limits is nothing unusual, but that was clearly too close for comfort," he said. "We want clarification, and secondly - if it is really a significant breach - we want to see punishment by the FIA."
Marko was scornful of the Mercedes line that the team learned nothing of significance during the test at Barcelona last month that could help them either in this season or looking further ahead to 2014.
"Every kilometre run brings valuable information," he insisted. "Whether this information can be transformed into a direct gain in time is impossible to tell from a distance, but if we were to do something like that I know that our car would be faster."
And Marko confirmed that Red Bull
Racing had been approached by Pirelli to run a tyre test on their behalf, and that the team had declined in the strong belief that it was against the regulations.