F1 »

FIA denies it approved Mercedes tyre test

The FIA has emphatically refuted Mercedes' claims that it gave permission for the private tyre test at the Circuit de Catalunya last month.
The FIA has denied that it knew about or approved Mercedes' secret tyre test with Pirelli in Barcelona in May.

Arguing before the International Tribunal convened on Thursday in Paris, FIA's lawyer Mark Howard QC agreed that Pirelli had made an informal approach to the sporting body about a possible tyre test, but insisted that Pirelli had not given confirmation to the FIA that the test would take place, or communicated details about the date or location that any such test would occur.

The FIA said that the only way to overrule the sporting regulations prohibiting in-season testing would be to send those full details to the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) for a formal decision on whether it could go ahead or not. Neither Pirelli nor Mercedes ever did so, the FIA alleges.

The FIA has now conceded that Charlie Whiting had been informally approached by Pirelli about the prospect of an in-season test, but argues that any response he gave was "only the opinion of someone within the FIA; Mr Whiting is not in any position to provide a binding statement with respect to the rules."

That would appear to torpedo Mercedes' rumoured line of defence about being in possession of emails with Whiting okaying the three-day session at the Circuit de Catalunya in the week after the Spanish Grand Prix.

The hearing has also clarified why Pirelli is being required to attend. The hearing said that it was because the test may have been "prejudicial to the competition", but that there was no question of Pirelli having breached its commercial contract with the sport.

"None of the other 2013 competitors were invited to participate in the test or observe," said Howard, explaining the seriousness of the matter. "None of the other 2013 competitors was aware that the test was to take place."

Howard said that if this was found to be the case then it amounted to a breach of article 151c of the sporting code relating to "Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally."

In its opening argument, the FIA said that even if the three-day test was a 'blind' study with respect to which tyres were being run at any given time, merely being able to run an extra 1000-kilometre test would have given the team invaluable information about their 2013 car and whether or not its current problems with tyre degradation could be overcome without major revisions, or whether a significant defect was responsible for the team's race performance issues.

Tagged as: FIA , Mercedes , Ross Brawn , Pirelli , tribunal

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.06.2013- Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
12.05.2013-Race, 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
08.06.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
09.06.2013- Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP
11.05.2013- Qualifying, Pirelli Tyre
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Chase Carey, Ross Brawn & Sean Bratches
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


June 20, 2013 11:05 AM

Seems like there has been a lot of passing the buck here by all parties involved, including the FIA. I wonder what would happen if Pirelli were sanctioned by the FIA? Would they withdraw from their contract? I believe the appropriate metaphor here involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.